With sustained winds of up to 85 mph by 1 a.m. Friday, Ian is forecast to bring a storm surge of 5 feet to coastal areas of Georgia and the Carolinas.

CHARLESTON, SC — A revived Hurricane Ian has slammed into the South Carolina coast and historic Charleston, with forecasters predicting storm surge and flooding in the wake of the megastorm caused catastrophic damage in Florida and left people trapped in their homes.

With the entire South Carolina coast under a hurricane warning, a steady stream of cars left Charleston Thursday, many likely heeding officials’ warnings to seek higher ground. The storefronts were filled with sandbags to prevent high water levels in the flood-prone area.

Along the Battery neighborhood at the southern tip of the 350-year-old city’s peninsula, locals and tourists snapped selfies against the changing backdrop of the whitecaps of Charleston Harbor as palm trees bent in a gusty wind.

With winds of up to 85 mph (140 kph) by 1 a.m. Friday, Ian is forecast to bring a storm surge of 5 feet (1.5 meters) to coastal areas of Georgia and the Carolinas. Rainfall of up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) threatened flooding from South Carolina to Virginia.

In Florida, rescuers manned boats and waded through river streets Thursday to rescue thousands of Floridians trapped among flooded homes and destroyed buildings. Hurricane Jan.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said there were at least 700 rescue efforts Thursday, mostly by air, involving the U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard and city search and rescue teams.

Ian made landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday as a devastating Category 4 hurricane, one of the strongest storms ever to hit the United States. It flooded homes on both coasts of the state, closed the only access road to the barrier island, destroyed a historic waterfront pier and knocked out power to 2.6 million Florida homes and businesses — nearly a quarter of utility customers. About 2.1 million of those customers were left in the dark days afterward.

RELATED: ‘It’s a catastrophic storm’: How to help people affected by Hurricane Ian.

According to data, climate change has led to at least 10% more rainfall in Hurricane Ian research produced immediately after the storm, said his co-author, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory climatologist Michael Wehner.

At least four people were killed in Florida and three others were killed in Cuba as a result of the hurricane that struck on Tuesday.

In Art Fort Myers area, the hurricane tore houses off their slabs and laid them among the debris. Businesses near the beach were completely destroyed, leaving behind twisted wreckage. Broken docks floated at odd angles next to damaged boats. Fires were smoldering on the plots where houses once stood.

RELATED: The study shows that climate change has added 10% to Iona’s rainfall

“I don’t know how anyone could survive there,” William Goodison said amid the wreckage of the Fort Myers Beach mobile home park where he lived for 11 years. Goodison said he was only alive because he moved inland to his son’s home during the storm.

The hurricane tore through the park of about 60 homes, leaving them destroyed or mutilated beyond repair, including Goodison’s only home. Wading through waist-deep water, Goodison and his son carried two garbage cans that contained what little he could salvage — a portable air conditioner, some tools and a baseball bat.

RELATED: Flooding has caught many in Florida as John heads for South Carolina

The road into Fort Myers was littered with broken trees, boat trailers and other debris. Cars were left stranded on the road, stalled as the storm surge flooded their engines.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marcena said his office was struggling to respond to thousands of 911 calls in the Fort Myers area, but many roads and bridges were impassable.

Emergency crews were sawing downed trees to get to people who were trapped. Many of the worst-hit areas were unable to call for help due to power and cell service outages.

A section of Sanibel Road fell into the sea, cutting off access to the barrier island, home to 6,300 people.

Hours after weakening as a tropical storm while crossing the Florida peninsula, Ian regained hurricane strength Thursday night over the Atlantic. The National Hurricane Center predicted it would make landfall in South Carolina on Friday as a Category 1 hurricane.

RELATED: Latest Prediction: Ian is ready to make landfall in South Carolina

National Guard troops were deployed to South Carolina to assist with relief efforts, including water rescues. And in Washington, President Joe Biden approved a statewide emergency declaration, a necessary step to speed up federal recovery aid after John dies.

According to forecasters, the storm should hit North Carolina. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper urged residents to prepare for heavy rain, strong winds and possible power outages.

While visiting the state’s emergency operations center Thursday, Cooper said up to 7 inches (17.8 centimeters) of rain could fall in some areas, which could trigger landslides and tornadoes across the state.

Gomez Licon reported from Punta Gorda, Florida; Associated Press contributors include Terry Spencer and Tim Reynolds in Fort Myers, Fla.; Cody Jackson in Tampa, Florida; Frida Frisar in Miami; Mike Schneider in Orlando, Florida; Seth Borenstein in Washington; and Bobby Cain Calvan in New York.