The hurricane made landfall in Florida but is expected to hit the Carolinas on Friday.
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As Hurricane Ian continues to wreak havoc in the US, companies are already employing measures to soften the storm’s blow into their businesses. Mercedes-Benz and Volvo are among the ones that announced a move to brace for impact, halting operations in their manufacturing plants in South Carolina.
As reported by Automotive News, Mercedes-Benz announces the closure of its plant on Friday. The assembly plant, located in Charleston, employs 1,600 employees, producing Mercedes Sprinter and Metris vans for North America. The next fully electric Mercedes eSprinter is expected to be built at this plant in the second half of 2023.
Meanwhile, Volvo’s plant in Ridgeville has also paused its operations starting at 11:00 a.m. EDT Thursday and will remain inoperational through Friday. The plant has 1,500 people in its employ and is building the Volvo S60. The Swedish automaker has invested $118 million in this plant to make fully electric vehicles for the US market.
“Hurricane Ian has the potential to impact our U.S. operations,” Volvo said in a statement. “The safety of our employees and their families is our highest priority. Therefore, our Ridgeville plant halted operations at 11 a.m. and will remain closed through Friday.”
Hurricane Ian first made landfall in Florida on Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane. It weakened to a tropical storm as it moved over central Florida earlier in the day. However, it regained Category 1 strength this Thursday evening, with winds at 75 miles per hour. The hurricane is now headed to South Carolina and is expected to make landfall again on Friday.
According to the weather service, significant flooding is expected in coastal northeast Florida, southeastern Georgia, and eastern South Carolina. There’s also a chance of “a tornado or two” happening in coastal parts of the Carolinas on Friday.