Hundreds are believed dead after the deadliest Hurricane in Florida’s history which ripped through the state on Wednesday night, leaving over 2.6 million people without power and stranding countless others waiting for rescue.

Iran PressAmerica: The death toll presently remains unconfirmed, and damage is still being assessed across the Florida peninsula, where Hurricane Ian’s “relatively slow” speed allowed the storm to dump record amounts of rain, triggering multiple flash flood emergencies and river flooding.

Moving at roughly 8 miles an hour, the storm maintained hurricane strength for several hours, until it was demoted to tropical storm status (with 65 mph winds) just south of Orlando, which saw over a foot of rain. It has since been upgraded to a Category 1 storm.

At FEMA headquarters on Thursday, US President Biden officially declared Ian a major disaster and warned the storm could be the “deadliest” in Florida’s history. A representative from FEMA affirmed the agency is “supporting search and rescue efforts.”

The US Coast Guard also began attempting rescues on Florida’s barrier islands on Thursday, according to a statement made by Gov. Ron DeSantis during a press briefing.

As of 3 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Ian had knocked out power to over 2.6 million customers in Florida – approximately 24% of the state’s customers – according to local outage maps.

The US National Hurricane Center says Ian’s maximum sustained winds increased Thursday to 75 mph. It was centered about 240 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina, and moving northeast at 10 mph – a slightly faster pace than Florida saw on Wednesday.

The storm is projected to make landfall once again Friday morning near Charleston, prompting a hurricane warning for the state’s entire coast.

The storm’s slow pace heightens the risk of heavy rainfall, and according to the National Weather Service office in Charleston, some areas could see a surge of up to 7 feet.

The state’s coast was bumped from “hurricane watch” to hurricane “warning” on Thursday afternoon.