Hurricane Florence hits Carolinas, 10 mn people in potential disaster zone

Standstill traffic for 30 miles on I-95 near Georgia-SC border as Florence evacuees flee | Island Packet

According to the BBC, floodwaters may ride up to 13ft (4 metres) and Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, Brock Long, explained: "So this is a very risky storm".

BB&T, which is based out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina and operates 1,900 branches across the country, is likely to be among the most affected by Hurricane Florence.

If you are waiting to leave South Carolina's coast ahead of Hurricane Florence's expected landfall this weekend, the governor has a message for you: hurry up and get out.

Preceded first by the storm surge and the winds, heavy rains were picking up as of late Thursday afternoon, the beginning of an onslaught that for some areas may not relent for days. On an island like Puerto Rico, which has limited health care and other types of infrastructure, a hurricane's downstream effects can prove even more devastating than the initial surge.

Air Force General Terrence J O'Shaughnessy, head of US Command, said search and rescue is a top priority but that the magnitude of the storm may exceed the ability of rescuers.

The Charleston area will see winds near tropical storm strength of 40 miles per hour and somewhere between 3 to 6 inches of rain.

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as a Category 1 with winds less than 100 miles per hour, but that's still enough to cause at least $1 billion in damage. It will then move along the "spine of the Appalachians".

"On the forecast track, the center of Florence is expected to move inland across extreme southeastern North Carolina and extreme eastern South Carolina Friday and Saturday".

Around midday, Spanish moss blew sideways in the trees as the winds increased in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City.

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ISS images show massive Hurricane Florence from 400 km up
Officials in the potential path of Florence urged people to evacuate their coastal homes and directed drivers away from the coast. FEMA has warned that while downgraded, the storm will still generate life threatening storm surge and rainfall in North and SC .

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As Florence drew near, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that FEMA and first responders are "supplied and ready", and he disputed the official conclusion that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico, claiming the figure was a Democratic plot to make him look bad.

A spokeswoman for Love's Travel Stops says demand for gasoline has doubled at numerous company's truck-stop locations in the path of Hurricane Florence.

"The combination of a risky storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline", according to the National Hurricane Center. While hurricane force winds extended 80 miles from the centre of the storm, tropical storm force winds extended up to 195 miles.

More than 1,200 USA airline flights scheduled for Thursday and Friday have been canceled, according to the flight-tracking service FlightAware.

Following Hurricane Florence are two more powerful storms crossing the Atlantic, namely Tropical Storm Isaac and Hurricane Helene.

Glenda Dougherty, also on the flight, was scheduled to come to Northeast Ohio for a wedding in a few weeks, but the storm altered her plans. The two hardware chains said they sent in a total of around 1,100 trucks.

After maintaining Category 4 or 3 status most of Wednesday, Florence was a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph churning about 205 miles southeast of Wilmington, according to a 5 a.m. briefing by the National Hurricane Center.

More than 300,000 people have already evacuated from the coast, McMaster said, and traffic on the highway was moving steadily on Wednesday. Here's why this storm threatens not only the coast but millions of people inland. As the recovery from past storms continues in many rural towns, the next storm is about to strike.

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