Mass evacuations ordered as Hurricane Florence heads toward Carolinas

14 September, 2018, 17:14 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • NOAA  National Hurricane Center
Hurricane watches are posted for much of the South and North Carolina coasts and up to southern Virginia

- Storm surge is also a major concern, potentially reaching 13 feet in parts of North Carolina. "Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!"

"Right now, it's time to get out of harm's way", said Tom Collins, emergency management director for Pender County.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference his state was in "the bull's eye".

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered as many as one million coastal residents to leave their homes ahead of the storm's projected arrival on Thursday.

A line of heavy traffic moved away from the coast on Interstate 40, the main route between the port city of Wilmington and inland Raleigh.

"Due to potential emergency conditions that appear likely due to Hurricane Florence, South Carolina will make temporary exceptions to the regulations governing the importation and exportation of animals coming into and leaving South Carolina", Parr said. A year ago, people would have laughed off such a forecast, but the European model was accurate in predicting 152cm of rain for Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area, so "you start to wonder what these models know that we don't", said University of Miami hurricane expert Brian McNoldy. The infamous "Hurricane of 1900", which came ashore in Galveston, Texas, before storms were named, still holds that record, having taken between 8,000 and 12,000 lives.

Its centre will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday and approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday, the National Hurricane Centre said.

It is then forecast to close in on North or SC on Thursday, hitting a stretch of coastline that is vulnerable to rising sea levels due to climate change.

"Florence is a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale".

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Hurricane Florence deluges Carolinas ahead of landfall
Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did. Florence is expected to arrive in southeast North Carolina on Friday morning before drifting south into SC .


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After the storm hits the Carolinas, it is then forecast to threaten parts of Tennessee, Georgia, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and Pennsylvania with heavy rains and inland flooding, CNN reported.

"This is probably the only exercise I get this week", she quipped.

The vehicle park has been full for three days at the Ace Hardware store in coastal Calabash, North Carolina, where manager Tom Roberts said he sold 150 gas cans in two hours Monday, along with generators, plywood, rope, manual can openers, sand bags and a plethora of other items.

He added: "The waves and the wind this storm may bring is nothing like you've ever seen".

Boards are set up outside a grocery store before Hurricane Florence makes landfall.

The last time the USA capital declared a state of emergency was in January 2016 when a winter storm dubbed "Snowzilla" blanketed the capital and its region in knee-deep snow. "On the forecast track, Isaac should move across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea on Thursday", the NHC said.

"Maximum sustained winds are near 140 miles per hour (220 km/h) with higher gusts".

"A west- northwestward to northwestward motion with a slight increase in forward speed are expected during the next couple of days".

The storm was about 880 miles east of the Lesser Antilles - a region still recovering from last year's powerful Hurricane Maria.

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