This article will provide updates throughout the day about what is going on in the region.
All of central North Carolina is under a tropical storm watch, according to the National Weather Service. A flood watch also has been issued for the entire area.
Wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph are possible, according to a briefing provided by the weather service. Rainfall amounts of three to six inches could cause flash flooding around streams, creeks, urban areas, and other low-lying places, it said.
Emergency officials are urging residents to use caution if traveling today.
8:21 p.m.: All major outages restored in Cumberland County, reports utility
About 60 customers remained without power, as of 8 p.m. according to the Fayetteville Works Commission. Earlier in the night the utility reported that 475 customers did not have service. The PWC said in a tweet: "Crews have restored all major outages and will resume restoration efforts early Saturday morning. PWC will continue to closely monitor all operations throughout the evening."
8:05 p.m.: Storm surge watch discontinued for Cape Fear River, but risk of tornadoes remains
As Post-Tropical Cyclone Ian continues to weaken, the storm surge watch for the Cape Fear River has been discontinued, according to the National Hurricane Center.
In an 8 p.m. public advisory, the center warned that tornadoes are still a possibility through Friday night.
"A few tornadoes are possible through tonight across eastern North Carolina," the advisory said.
As of 8 p.m., Ian was located about 45 miles northeast of Florence, South Carolina, with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph and a minimum central pressure of 990 mb.
"Ian should continue to weaken overnight and dissipate over central North Carolina or Virginia late tomorrow," the center said.
Cumberland County remains under a flash flood warning.
7:19 p.m.: Updated rainfall totals show Fayetteville netting more than 3 inches of rain
Much of Cumberland County has received 2 to 3 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service's latest rainfall report.
Fort Bragg topped the chart at 3.1 inches as of 6:55 p.m., the report said. Fayetteville wasn't far behind, with 3.06 inches of rain having fallen there by 6:45 p.m. Hope Mills came in third at 2.91 inches as of 6:50 p.m., according to the report.
The county is projected to receive an additional 1 to 2 inches of rain by Saturday and remains under a flash flood warning.
6:37 p.m.: Cumberland County residents slowly regaining power
Power is gradually returning to Cumberland County residents impacted by Ian. In a 6 p.m. news release, Fayetteville PWC said 375 of its customers were without power, meaning about 100 customers saw their power restored after the 4 p.m. update, which said 475 PWC customers were facing outages. The 200-customer outage between Murchison and Rosehill roads was ongoing, according to the release.
228,432 North Carolinians were without power as of 6:41 p.m., according to ReadyNC.gov, but Cumberland County no longer makes the list for top county outages. About 848 households, or 4% of South River EMC's clients, still had no power as of 6:42 p.m., according to the company's outage map. 132 Lumbee River EMC customers were experiencing outages at that time, the company's website said, less than 1% of their clientele.
Duke Energy reported 98 active outages as of 6:43 p.m. affecting 1,487 customers.
The companies did not provide an estimate of when power would be restored.
6:20 p.m.: Flash flood warning in effect for Cumberland County, National Weather Service says
A flash flood warning has been issued for Cumberland County, according to the National Weather Service. The warning, which will last until 11:15 p.m., was issued because 1.5 to 3 inches of rain have already fallen in the area, with an additional 1 to 2 inches anticipated.
"Flash flooding is ongoing or expected to begin shortly," the warning said.
The service named Fayetteville and Fort Bragg as two of the locations that will see flash flooding.
"Turn around, don't drown," the warning cautioned. "Most flood deaths occur in vehicles."
5:46 p.m.: 'Don't take this lightly': National Hurricane Center urges caution in latest Ian update
With Ian downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, many might be tempted to think the risk is over — but that's far from the case, according to Jamie Rhone, acting director of the National Hurricane Center.
In a 5:30 p.m. special tropical update, Rhone cautioned those in Ian's path to be particularly careful overnight, when the dark can conceal flooded roads.
"Don't take this lightly just because it has weakened to tropical storm force winds," Rhone said.
The storm is "moving quickly off to the north," according to Rhone, with heavy rain coming into central North Carolina. Tropical storm force winds will still impact southeastern North Carolina tonight, thanks to Ian's particularly large wind field, he said.
"The risk shifts to more of an inland flood risk from the heavy rain," Rhone said, referencing a graphic that showed much of southeastern North Carolina classified as being at moderate risk for flooding, including Cumberland County.
Eastern North Carolina is especially at risk for flooding overnight.
"Eastern North Carolina has a high risk of flooding rain potential overnight, and as that rain saturates the soil and then these tropical storm force winds spread inland, the potential exists to topple trees, take out power lines," he said. "With the sun going down, sometimes it's not evident that the roads are blocked, there's trees in the road or there's ponding in the road, so it's going to be really dangerous to move about tonight in North Carolina."
North Carolinians also face the potential for tornadoes in the eastern part of the state, according to Rhone.
"Basically I-95 east down to all the Outer Banks and portions of southeast Virginia has a risk of tornadoes overnight," he said.
People should be particularly cautious about traveling at night Friday, according to Rhone.
"I really want to urge you to get wherever it is you're going to go and just stay there because we inadvertently lose a lot of people after these storms due to just driving into roads and tree limbs down and that sort of stuff," he said.
This could possibly be the center's last update for Ian, Rhone said.
5:05 p.m.: National Hurricane Center downgrades Ian to post-tropical cyclone
"Ian becomes post-tropical but the dangerous storm surge, flash flooding and high wind threat continues," the National Hurricane Center wrote in their 5 p.m. public advisory.
According to the center, Ian, now downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, was located about 20 miles northwest of Myrtle Beach as of 5 p.m. with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and a minimum central pressure of 982 mb. The Cape Fear River is currently under a storm surge watch, according to the advisory, meaning "there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline."
The storm should be moving across central North Carolina by Saturday morning, the advisory said.
"Ian should continue to weaken overnight and dissipate over western North Carolina or Virginia late tomorrow," the center wrote.
The center also estimated that the Cape Fear River could reach heights of two to four feet above ground if peak storm surge occurs during high tide.
"Considerable flash and urban flooding, and minor river flooding is possible across coastal and northeast South Carolina, coastal North Carolina and southeast Virginia today," the advisory said.
The advisory also noted the possibility of tornados throughout eastern North Carolina this evening.
The National Hurricane Center's next complete advisory will be released at 11 p.m., with an intermediate advisory to come at 8 p.m. Intermediate advisories are advisories issued every three hours during coastal watches or warnings, according to the center's website.
4:31 p.m.: Strongest winds to last until 7 or 8 p.m., weather service says
Cumberland County residents can expect the strongest winds from Hurricane Ian from now until 7 or 8 p.m., according to Jonathan Blaes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh. Several bursts of heavier rain are also anticipated in that time frame, Blaes said.
Besides flooding, Blaes pointed to thunderstorms as the greatest area of concern for Cumberland County.
"We are monitoring a little few bands of thunderstorms embedded in the fringes of the storm," Blaes said, noting reports of tornadoes along the coast of the state.
The potential for tornadoes in Cumberland County was limited, however, he added, saying there was "greater potential further east" near Goldsboro.
4:14 p.m.: Another large outage hits PWC customers
A new power outage across the street from Cape Fear Valley Medical Center on Owen Drive is impacting 190 PWC customers, according to the company's outage map. The outage began at 3:54 p.m. and was caused by an "environmental factor," the website said. It is estimated to be repaired by 6:07 p.m.
A PWC news release released just after 4 p.m. said about 475 customers were out of power in Cumberland County, with the largest outage affecting about 200 people between Murchison and Rosehill roads.
3:42 p.m.: Power outages climb in Cumberland County
More than 300 PWC customers are currently out of power in Cumberland County, according to the company's outage map. The largest outage impacts 208 clients near E.E. Smith High School and appears to encompass parts of Stanberry, Eldridge and Cascade streets; Gola and Broadell drives; and Edgecombe Avenue. Another large outage near Bingham Drive is affecting 179 clients in the areas of Rhemish, Rockford, Tyson, Lawhorne and Berriedale drives, the map said.
PWC's map showed about 21 outages across the county as of 3:34 p.m.
Duke Energy reported 57 active outages, affecting 4,557 customers — about 13.9% of the 32,756 customers in Cumberland County, according to the company's website. The largest single outage, impacting about 1,490 clients, was near Poetry Lane off of Camden Road and was caused by "fallen trees or limbs," the outage map said. The outage was expected to be repaired by 6 p.m.
Lumbee River Electrical Management Company reported 73 customers without power in Cumberland County as of 3:39 p.m. Southern River Electrical Management Company, meanwhile, said about 1,200 households were experiencing outages, about 5.9% of their clientele in Cumberland County.
Cumberland County remained third in the state for power outages with 4,020 customers impacted as of 3:40 p.m., according to ReadyNC.gov.
3:17 p.m.: Wind gusts in Fayetteville up to 55 mph
Peak wind gusts in Fayetteville have reached 55 mph as of 2 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. Hope Mills recorded a peak gust of 35 mph at 1:25 p.m., while Pope Army Air Field saw gusts up to 41 mph at 1:44 p.m., the service said.
2:58 p.m.: Fayetteville declares state of emergency; National Hurricane Center confirms Ian's landfall
Mayor Mitch Colvin declared a state of emergency for the city of Fayetteville, effective 2:45 p.m. Friday, according to a news release. This means that, if necessary, Colvin could impose a curfew, order partial or complete evacuations for the city and take any other actions deemed critical to protecting residents as Hurricane Ian draws closer.
Hurricane Ian officially made landfall at 2:05 p.m. near Georgetown, South Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center's Twitter account. The storm's maximum sustained winds at the time of landfall were 85 mph, while the estimated minimum central pressure was 977 mb, the center said. For reference, Hurricane Fran, which hit Cumberland County in September 1996, was recorded at 954 mb minimum pressure when it made landfall in North Carolina, according to the National Weather Service's website.
2:40 p.m.: Cumberland County up to third in the state for power outages
With more than 7,000 people out of power in neighboring Robeson County, Cumberland County is now up to third in North Carolina for power outages, with 3,217 customers out of power, according to ReadyNC.gov, North Carolina Emergency Management's emergency preparedness website.
Cumberland County was previously sixth in the state for power outages just over 15 minutes ago.
2:27 p.m.: Rainfall totals still minimal in Cumberland County
As of 2 p.m., Cumberland County still has yet to see significant rain, according to the National Weather Service. Fayetteville is reporting about 1.15 inches of rain, while Fort Bragg is reporting 1.46 inches of rain, the weather service said.
Nearby Raeford reported 1.5 inches of rain, and the town of Erwin in neighboring Harnett County reported 0.99 inches, according to the weather service.
Thunderstorms bringing heavy rain are expected to arrive later today, with Cumberland County remaining under a flood watch until 9 a.m. Saturday, the National Weather Service said.
2:15 p.m.: Cumberland County ranks sixth in state for power outages
According to North Carolina Emergency Management's emergency preparedness website, ReadyNC.gov, Cumberland County was sixth in the state for power outages as of 2:13 p.m. with 2,025 outages. There are 32,110 power outages across North Carolina as of 2:13 p.m., with Robeson County topping the list at 3,382 outages.
2:02 p.m.: Fayetteville Regional Airport sees gust of 48 mph
Fayetteville Regional Airport continues to experience tropical storm force gusts, according to the airport's automated weather system. The airport reported sustained winds of 32 mph and a gust peak of 48 mph, the latter of which would be classified as a tropical storm force wind.
- Lexi Solomon
1:50 p.m.: Hundreds facing power outages in Cumberland County
Hundreds of people in Cumberland County are experiencing power outages, according to outage maps from Duke Energy, PWC, Lumbee River Electric Management Corporation and South River Electric Management Corporation.
As of 1:30 p.m., an outage on South Windsor Drive off of Ramsey Street was impacting at least 23 PWC customers, according to the company's outage map. The outage, which began at 1:11 p.m., is expected to be fixed by 5:11 p.m. The cause of the outage was still under investigation, the map said.
Another PWC outage off of Mullins Avenue, also near Ramsey Street, is affecting fewer than five customers, the website said. The outage began at 11:37 a.m. and is estimated to be fixed by 3:07 p.m. A cause has yet to be determined, according to the outage map.
About 231 Duke Energy customers appear to be experiencing outages throughout Cumberland County, according to the company's outage map. Three separate outages on different sections of Stoney Point Road in the Jack Britt neighborhood are impacting 122 clients; the cause of the outages is unknown, and technicians were en route to fix the outages as of 1:38 p.m., according to Duke Energy's website.
Three separate outages near Clifton Road in the Vander area are affecting about 60 customers, Duke Energy's outage map also said. The cause of these outages has not been identified.
Lumbee River EMC's outage map said 1,308 customers were out of power in Cumberland County as of 1:42 p.m. The outages were expected to be fixed by 2:30 p.m., according to the company's website.
About 231 South River EMC customers were out of power in Cumberland County as of 1:46 p.m., according to the South River EMC website. The outage represents 1.1% of the company's customers in the county and appeared to be concentrated along Bragg Boulevard. The website did not provide specifics on the cause of the outage or when power would be restored.
- Lexi Solomon
1:10 p.m.: Tornado Watch issued for Cumberland and surrounding counties
Cumberland County is under a tornado watch until 10 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.
The watch was issued at 12:40 p.m. It means that conditions favor thunderstorms that are capable of producing tornadoes. Residents should be ready to act if a tornado warning is issued.
The tornado watch area also includes Bladen, Columbus, Robeson and Sampson counties.
− Steve DeVane
12:40 p.m.: Fayetteville area expected to see rougher weather later today
Conditions are expected to worsen in the Fayetteville area this afternoon as Hurricane Ian gets closer to the area.
The storm is expected to make landfall on the South Carolina coast this afternoon before coming through the central part of North Carolina.
“Conditions will continue to deteriorate this afternoon, with the heaviest rain and strongest winds expected during the afternoon and evening hours,” the weather service said in a briefing late this morning.
The Fayetteville Regional Airport reported a tropical storm force gust just before noon. The 39 mph gust occurred while the airport was seeing sustained winds of 26 mph.
− Steve DeVane
11:45 a.m.: Tropical storm force winds expected this afternoon
The National Hurricane Center says there’s a good chance that tropical storm force winds will hit the Fayetteville area today.
The center’s 11 a.m. advisory shows that an area to the south and east of Fayetteville in North Carolina has more than a 90% chance of sustained winds of 39 mph or more. The probability decreases to about 50% for an area north of the city.
The arrival of tropical storm force winds in the Fayetteville area is expected to be about 2 p.m., according to the advisory.
Just before 11 a.m., the Fayetteville Regional Airport was reporting 25 mph winds with gusts up to 36 mph.
− Steve DeVane
10:35 a.m.: PWC opens its emergency operations center to monitor conditions
Fayetteville’s Public Works Commission has opened its emergency operations center as a precaution because of the potential impact from Hurricane Ian.
PWC officials will monitor conditions in the city and prepare to respond as needed, according to a statement released by the utility today.
“We’ve seen similar scenarios with past storms,” Mick Noland, PWC’s interim CEO and general manager, said. “ We want to ensure we can respond quickly should this storm turn out being worse than expected.”
There were no outages among PWC customers as of 9:30 a.m., according to the statement. Earlier in the morning, crews responded and restored power to 180 customers in an outage not related to the weather, it said.
The payment center at PWC will close at noon today for in-person payments, the statement said. A 24-hour payment station in the drive-through area of PWC will continue to be available, it said. PWC customers can call 910-483-1382 to report outages. The utility has an online outage map.
− Steve DeVane
9:55 a.m.: Rainfall totals not impressive so far
Simmons Army Airfield at Fort Bragg and Hope Mills are both reporting .58 inches of rain from Hurricane Ian so far, according to the National Weather Service. Fayetteville is reporting about a half inch of rain, the service said.
In the Fayetteville area, Clinton has gotten .74 inches of rain, which Lillington is reporting .72 inches so far, the weather service said. In Raeford, .63 inches of rain has been reported.
The rainfall totals were as of 8:30 a.m., according to the weather service.
Thunderstorms with heavier rain are expected later today.
− Steve DeVane
9:38 a.m.: Thunderstorms with heavy rain expected
The National Weather Service is forecasting thunderstorms that produce heavy rain for the Fayetteville area after 11 a.m.
“Some of the storms could produce heavy rain,” the service said.
Just before 9 a.m., the Fayetteville Regional Airport was reporting light rain, fog and mist.
Winds have increased slightly at the airport with gusts of 35 mph and sustained winds of 22 mph.
The weather service says the Fayetteville area can expect more than four inches of rain as Hurricane Ian approaches today. Wind gusts as high as 50 to 60 mph are possible, it said.
− Steve DeVane
8:20 a.m.: Higher wind now expected in Fayetteville area
The National Weather Service is now saying that central North Carolina might see wind gusts as high as 60 mph as Hurricane Ian approaches the South Carolina coast and makes landfall today. Earlier estimations put the maximum wind gusts for the area at 50 mph.
The wind gusts could result in downed trees that cause scattered power outages across the area.
For Fayetteville, the weather service forecasts maximum sustained winds of 31 mph with gusts of 52 mph. A total of 4.4 inches of rain is expected, it said.
− Steve DeVane
7:40 a.m.: Windy conditions reported at airport
Winds from Hurricane Ian are starting to be felt in the Fayetteville area.
At 7:35 a.m., the Fayetteville Regional Airport was reporting northeast winds at 23 mph with gusts of 30 mph. Light rain was also reported.
The National Weather Service says the area can expect to see winds as high as 50 p.m. as the storm moves through the area today and tonight.
The power outage in the Hope Mills area appears to have been resolved.
− Steve DeVane
6:55 a.m.: Power outage in the Hope Mills area
About 950 Duke Energy customers are without power in the Hope Mills area this morning, but the outage might not be related to Hurricane Ian.
A Duke Energy outage map shows that 948 customers in the Hope Mills Road and Rockfish Road area were without power about 6:45 a.m. The map says the outage “is resulting from an equipment upgrade to enhance our service.”
There is no estimate for when power might be restored, but the map says repairs and a damage assessment are underway.
− Steve DeVane
6:20 a.m.: Shelter opening this morning at Smith Recreation Center
Cumberland County officials are opening a shelter at 7 a.m. for residents who feel vulnerable during the storm.
Smith Recreation Center at 1520 Slater Avenue in Fayetteville will open at 7 a.m., according to a statement released by the county. The center is near Seabrook Park, off Langdon Street across from the Fayetteville State University Campus.
The center is scheduled to stay open until noon Saturday, the statement said.
Glenn Adams, chairman of the county Board of Commissioners, said in the statement that county officials have been in communication with city and school officials in preparation for the story. The common goal is to be sure all residents can stay in a safe and secure location while Hurricane Ian passes through the region, he said.
“We encourage all of our residents to make necessary preparations and stay safe,” Adams said.
– Steve DeVane
This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Hurricane Ian: Live updates as storm approaches Fayetteville area