Evacuations in USA ahead of Hurricane Florence

13 September, 2018, 15:03 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • People drive over a drawbridge in Wrightsville Beach North Carolina as they evacuate the area on Tuesday in advance of Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence is closing in on the East Coast, ready to deliver what the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is calling "a Mike Tyson punch" starting in about 24 hours.

Georgia joined four other coastal states issuing an emergency declaration as the latest forecasts showed Florence dumping historic amounts of torrential rain on the southern state.

Industrial waste, including toxic ash from power plants, could also be spread by flooding from the massive storm, which has caused mandatory evacuations of coastal areas in both Carolinas and Virginia, the AP reports.

But despite the potentially devastating hurricane, forecast to make landfall on Friday with 130mph winds, people tried to offer some "relief" in the silence before the storm.

Forecasts generally project Florence to make landfall in southeastern North Carolina on Friday as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane.

In addition to inundating the coast with wind-driven storm surges of seawater as high as 9 feet (2.7 meters) along the Carolina coast, Florence could dump 20 to 30 inches (51-76 cm) of rain, with up to 40 inches (1 metre) in parts of North Carolina, the NHC said.

Almost 2 million residents have been told to evacuate and head to safer ground.

"We have extra manpower on the road", Vest said. "It's an extremely risky, life-threatening, historic hurricane".

SC will not be evacuating Ridgeland Correctional Institution, even though it's in an area that could be hit by Hurricane Florence, the newspaper The State reports.


Maryland, though, could be spared the catastrophic flooding thought possible in recent days. "This is not going to be a glancing blow", Byard explained.

Duke Energy Corp expected between 25 percent and 75 percent of its 4 million customers would lose power in the Carolinas.

The Carolina coasts can expect winds topping 80 miles per hour late Thursday afternoon.

"We have seen a dramatic shift in the track", Scasny said, adding that big changes to the storm's behavior could emerge within the next two days.

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

Solange Iliou Thompson, a restaurant owner in the town of Wilmington, North Carolina, made her stance clear.

"All my staff are gone", Thompson said.

"I don't care if this goes down to a Category 1", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. "Protection of life is the absolute highest priority and that's what we are doing".

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