Thursday, 22 November, 2018

Hurricane Florence evacuations expand, with 'disaster at doorstep'

Sandra Phillips | 13 September, 2018, 07:42

Hurricane Florence, the monster Category 3 storm taking aim at the North and SC coastline, is expected to make landfall by the end of this week and bring with it devastating wind, rain and storm surge.

The storm's maximum sustained winds were clocked on Wednesday at 115 miles per hour (185 km per hour), down from a peak of 140 mph a day earlier before Florence was downgraded from a Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of wind strength.

North Carolina electric company Duke Energy Corp is expecting between 25 percent and 75 percent of its four million customers to lose power.

Those facing the most serious threat are in the Carolinas, as Category 4 Hurricane Florence barrels toward the coast, with an expected landfall Friday.

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

"I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in the path of Hurricane Florence", Deal said.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the eye of the hurricane will likely not blow ashore until Friday afternoon local time, after which it will then push westward and bring with it the potential for catastrophic inland flooding.

Florence weakens to Category 2 hurricane but still life-threatening: NHC
And it led to mixed signals from officials in SC , whose governor had canceled mandatory evacuation for several coastal counties. Officials say Hurricane Florence is likely to make landfall in southeastern North Carolina near the SC border.

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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.

In Virginia, where about 245,000 residents were ordered to evacuate low-lying areas, officials urged people to remain away from home despite forecast changes showing Florence's path largely missing the state.

Similar declarations were made earlier in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. SC announced the decision on Wednesday.

This is the third time SC has had to cancel a game due to weather in the last four years.

"We have to be careful we're not asking them to come back to Beaufort County through a storm", he said. He said the government is prepared for the storm. "Now it might be time for the exam", Baxley said late in the morning.

James Fuller helps board up his friends house in Swansboro, North Carolina on September 12, 2018 in advance of Hurricane Florence. "We just need to figure out how to make it through".

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, he said: "Disaster is at the doorstep and it's coming in". "The water level will get a little high but we'll be fine".

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