1.5m to evacuate as Hurricane Florence approaches US

Mindy Sparks
September 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.

By late Thursday into Friday, steering patterns in the atmosphere may completely break down causing the storm to stall just off the coast of southeast North Carolina and northeast SC.

This remarkable satellite image shows Hurricane Florence is one of just nine potentially unsafe storms now circling around the world.

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warns that a slight shift in Florence's forecast track does not mean that some communities north of the storm are now in the clear.

All three states ordered mass evacuations along the coast.

"Hurricane and storm surge watches now blanket much of the SC and North Carolina coasts, and enormous rainfall totals could be in store for coastal areas as well as inland".

The southeast coast of North Carolina will experience a prolonged storm surge reaching up to 9 to 13 feet from near the mouth of the Cape Fear to Cape Lookout.

Florence, a category 4 hurricane, is now moving in a west-northwesterly direction at 17mph.


Beyond the Carolinas and Virginia, which were expected to bear the brunt of the storm, rain and flooding were expected through next week in certain parts of Tennessee, Georgia, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and the District of Columbia. A steady stream of vehicles full of people and belongings flowed inland Tuesday as mandatory evacuations began, and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper tried to convince everyone to flee. Strengthening is forecast through Wednesday.

Should other states request storm-related assistance from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, GEMA would in turn ask its Athens counterpart if the county could lend a hand by sending supplies or personnel to storm-ravaged areas.

"The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Florence", Deal said in a news release.

Myrtle Beach also announced a curfew starting 10 p.m. starting Wednesday until 6 p.m. Thursday.

"This is a very fluid situation, especially now that new model runs are shifting the course of the storm south after landfall, potentially increasing its impact on SC and Georgia", St. Mary's Hospital spokesman Mark Ralston said.

While residents said they planned to stay put despite hurricane watches and warnings that include the homes of more than 5.4 million people on the East Coast, many weren't taking any chances.

Forecasters say Florence is expected to blow ashore late Thursday or early Friday, then slow down and dump 1 to 2½ feet of rain that could cause flooding well inland and wreak environmental havoc by washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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