Mass evacuations ordered as Hurricane Florence approaches US

Federico Mansilla
Setiembre 14, 2018

It is moving northwest at 17 miles per hour.

The storm was heading for the coast of North and SC but heavy rain was also expected in Virginia to the north and Georgia to the south.

The center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Wednesday night, and approach the coast of North Carolina or SC in the hurricane warning area on Thursday and Friday, NHC said.

The storm's path put a corridor of more than 10 million people in the crosshairs Wednesday as it closed in on the Carolinas, uncertainty over its projected path spreading worry across a widening swath of the Southeast.

The message from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to residents was bleak.

Florence is now been downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane, is expected to make landfall in the US, Thursday as an "extremely dangerous" hurricane according to the National Hurricane Center.

UAE residents and tourists in the United States have been issued a warning by the UAE Embassy in Washington to be cautious of Hurricane Florence.

Although the storm has been designated Category 3 rather than 4, emergency services were warning it could hit the coast with the force of a "Mike Tyson punch."

The NHC said the first tropical storm-force winds of at least 39 miles per hour (63 kph) would hit the region early on Thursday with the storm's center reaching the coast Friday.

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for... President Trump has declared an emergency in the three states and says the government is "as ready as anybody has ever been".

"Don't play games with it. If you are not under an evacuation order, finish your preparations today".

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The storm is now 280 miles southeast of Wilmington with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph. The hurricane center said Florence will approach the coast Friday and linger for a while before rolling ashore. Airlines had canceled almost 1,000 flights and counting. "This is a big, big storm with a lot of water and heavy rain". The two hardware chains said they sent in a total of around 1,100 trucks.

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.

Computer models of exactly what the storm might do varied, adding to the uncertainty.

Gov. Henry McMaster is not yet issuing mandatory evacuation orders for Jasper and Beaufort counties, but officials have not ruled out the possibility of another evacuation order.

"The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety", Deal said.

"We've had our lessons".

The White House tweeted: "Hurricane Florence poses a catastrophic threat to millions living in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia".

Their entire neighborhood evacuated in Wilmington, North Carolina, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter's one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte.

First responders around the country are making their way to Wrightsville Beach.

Forecasters anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast. "If you are on the coast, there is still time to get out safely". Most other beachgoers were long gone. "Also, a little creepy".

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