States Prepare for ‘Storm of a Lifetime’ as Hurricane Florence Looms

Mindy Sparks
September 13, 2018

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said its trajectory continues to show that the centre of Hurricane Florence will most likely strike the southern coast of North Carolina by late Thursday or early Friday.

The storm's maximum sustained winds were clocked at 193km/h, before Florence was downgraded from a Category 4. But authorities warned it will still be an extremely risky hurricane.

"This is not going to be a glancing blow", warned Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

At the White House, President Donald Trump both touted the government's readiness and urged people to get out of the way of Florence. "It's a big one", he said.

Officials say Hurricane Florence is likely to make landfall in southeastern North Carolina near the SC border.

Brad Corpening, 35, is planning to ride out Hurricane Florence in his boarded-up delicatessen in Wilmington, North Carolina, and said: "I'm not approaching Florence from fear or panic". Home Depot and Lowe's activated emergency response centers to get generators, trash bags and bottled water to stores before and after the storm. There are concerns that it could knock out power for weeks.

The storm will slow down because of pushback from a trough - an extended area of low atmospheric pressure - now over Texas, Stacy Stewart, an NHC senior hurricane specialist, said in the update.

Computer models of exactly what the storm might do varied, adding to the uncertainty. Eventually, Florence will veer north into the Appalachian Mountains, bringing soaking rains to Virginia and western North Carolina, before sputtering out late next week near DE and Maryland, the FWS reported.

Hurricane florence is the most powerful storm to emerge from the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

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

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

"We've had our lessons".

"Today is the time to get your preparedness actions complete", he said. In Virginia, officials have evacuated one state prison, though local jails in the affected area are planning to keep inmates in place after stockpiling food and fuel, the Virginian-Pilot reports. Unsure of what they might find when they return home, the couple went shopping for a recreational vehicle. That leaves the "spinning wheel" at the hurricane's core stranded, "and it'll just sit there until the weather pattern changes", he said.

Forecasters anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast.

Saturday's scheduled game between SC and Marshall has been canceled. Most other beachgoers were long gone.

"There's really not a lot of good news", NOAA flight director Paul Flaherty said on "Shepard Smith Reporting". "Also, a little creepy". "If they're telling you to leave, you have to leave", Graham said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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