Hurricane Florence Evacuations Expand, With 'Disaster At Doorstep'

Jan Cross
September 14, 2018

Hurricane Florence is threatening millions of Americans in the southeast, as FEMA warns that this is a very unsafe storm.

Winds and rain were arriving later in SC, and a few people were still walking on the sand at Myrtle Beach while North Carolina was getting pounded.

As of 11 p.m. EDT, Florence was centered about 50 miles south of Morehead, North Carolina, and 70 miles east-south-east of Wilmington, NC, moving at 5 mph.

The 5 p.m. National Weather Service forecast has the massive storm reaching the South Carolina-North Carolina coast starting early Friday.

NASA NASA / Reuters 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, September 12, 2018.

The storm's maximum sustained winds were clocked at 193km/h, before Florence was downgraded from a Category 4.

Anyone wanting tickets must provide a valid, state-issued ID for either North or SC.

Governor Deal said yesterday: "The state is mobilising all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Florence".

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Undeniably enormous, and frightfully powerful, the storm has captured the imagination of astronauts watching over it from orbit. States of emergency have been declared from Georgia to Maryland, underscoring just how wide Florence's impacts could be.

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On another barrier island just below the Bogue Banks, Steve Harrigan reported live from North Topsail Beach, where visitors and residents were largely heeding warnings from Gov. Roy Cooper (D-N.C.) to evacuate.

"For a meandering storm, the biggest concern - as we saw with Harvey - is the huge amount rainfall", said Chris Landsea, chief of tropical analysis and forecast branch at the National Hurricane Center.

Duke Energy Corp expected between 25 percent and 75 percent of its 4 million customers would lose power in the Carolinas. Many coastal towns have already instituted mandatory evacuation orders. The hurricane center also adjusted its projected track but stayed north of what most computer models were showing to prove some continuity with past forecasts. He says: "If Mama and Grandma are going, then a lot of people are leaving".

When Hurricane Matthew made landfall in 2014, Benson and her family stayed because it was only a Category 1 storm. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said. "If you are on the coast, there is still time to get out safely".

In North Carolina's Wrightsville Beach, Inside Edition's Steven Fabian was told to leave his hotel, which is shutting down due to the storm.

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as a Category 1 with winds less than 100 miles per hour (160 kph), but that's still enough to cause at least $1 billion in damage.

"It's been really nice", Nicole Roland said.

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