Hurricane Florence: Georgia Governor declares state of EMERGENCY for all 159 counties

Federico Mansilla
Setiembre 14, 2018

With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand.

Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale on Thursday evening and was moving west at only 6 miles per hour (9 km/h).

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC - SEPTEMBER 12: The outer bands of Hurricane Florence are visible as the storm approaches, on September 12, 2018 in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

Florence was earlier downgraded from Category 4 to 3 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of wind strength.

Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for the state of Georgia: "in light of the storm's forecasted southward track after making landfall".

The mammoth waves were spotted early Wednesday in the storm's northeast quadrant, said the NHC's Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch, which has been documenting Florence's waves all week.

A view of Hurricane Florence is shown churning in the Atlantic Ocean in a west, north-westerly direction heading for the eastern coastline of the United States, taken by cameras outside the International Space Station on Wednesday.

But North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned: "Don't relax, don't get complacent". "Disaster is at the doorstep and it's coming in".

North Carolina still faces life-threatening storm surge along the North Carolina coast. Heavy rains were forecast to extend into the Appalachian Mountains, affecting parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.

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Being dubbed the "Storm of a Lifetime," the Category-3 hurricane led to a declaration announcement of all Georgia's 159 counties, CNN reports. And up to 3 million energy customers in North and SC could lose power for weeks.

Almost 2 million residents have been told to evacuate and head to safer ground.

An estimated 10 million people live in areas expected to be placed under a hurricane or storm advisory, said Marc Chenard of the US Weather Prediction Centre.

As of 11 p.m., the storm was centered 280 miles east southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and was moving northwest at 17 mph.

Duke Energy, the nation's No. 2 power company, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.

Skerrit said that while the latest weather bulletin has indicated that Isaac is now a tropical storm, he was reminding citizens that in 2015, tropical storm Erika killed at least 20 people, caused floods and mudslides that have set the country back 20 years. "It's going to happen".

"We've been sold out for a while now and we just basically tell them that when people call", Ring said.

He said Jacksonville could experience tropical storm conditions Saturday morning into Saturday evening if the storm turns south, but he said mainly people in Georgia between Brunswick and Savannah should be concerned about that.

More than a million people in three states have been told to evacuate as Hurricane Florence pushes closer to land. Some reactors are undergoing prestorm checks now, and their reactors will be shut down 12 hours before the hurricane arrives, Green said.

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