Monday, 19 November, 2018

Mass evacuations ordered as Hurricane Florence heads toward Carolinas

NC rep asks Trump for expedited disaster declaration ahead of Hurricane Florence Getty Images
Derrick Tucker | 14 September, 2018, 07:17

Coastal areas of North Carolina began evacuating on Monday, with a second wave at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Communities along a stretch of coastline that's vulnerable to rising sea levels due to climate change prepared to evacuate the storm, which forecasters expect to be close to Category 5 strength by Tuesday.

This travel alert allows customers whose travel plans may be impacted to rebook without penalty, the airline said in a news release Monday. "We are going to put everything else away and then we are going to put some concrete blocks in front of the doors just so rushing water and wind can't blow the doors back in", said Matthew Littleton with Casper's Marina. Further south, from Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, to Cape Fear could see 4 to 6 feet of surge and further north, from Cape Lookout to Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina, could see 5 to 8 feet of storm surge. "We're liable to have a whole lot of flooding".

The Post and Courier reports: "The evacuations covers some areas inland prone to flooding, including Berkeley County and parts of Dorchester County".

Florence is forecast to make landfall in North Carolina late Thursday as a major hurricane and subject the region to high winds and heavy rain.

In North Carolina the Outer Banks and in SC as of noon Tuesday - mandatory evacuations in eight coastal counties.

The hurricane roared from a Category 1 (90 mph) to a Category 4 (130 mph) in just 13 hours, an extremely rapid intensification, Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach said.

The National Hurricane Center predicts Florence will reach the East Coast as early as Wednesday night, and its winds are nearing 140 miles per hour.

On its current track, Florence is expected to slam South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia the hardest.

The first tropical storm force winds are expected in Wilmington sometime Wednesday.

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Mandatory evacuations ordered for entire SC coastline ahead of Hurricane Florence
It's a scene that's playing out all along the eastern seaboard as Hurricane Florence continues to churn towards the coast. Far from this hurricane parade on the other side of the globe, Tropical Storm Olivia is flying solo east of Hawaii.

Hurricanes Florence, Helene, and Isaac are all now brewing in the Atlantic Ocean.

"The bottom line is that there is increasing confidence that Florence will be a large and extremely risky hurricane, regardless of its exact intensity", he said.

"As a result, people from southeastern Virginia to southern New Jersey could have damaging winds and significant coastal flooding, even if Florence hovers or moves ashore in North Carolina".

Friday Cooper declared a State of Emergency. The S.C. National Guard also can be deployed during an emergency.

President Donald Trump exhorted residents to follow officials' instructions.

Up to 30 inches of rain could fall in isolated pockets across North Carolina, Virginia and northern SC through Saturday.

The Transportation Department also has more than 3,000 employees ready to deploy, and more than 440 additional state law enforcement officers have been moved to the coast.

"This one really scares me", Graham said.

All evacuation routes and zones are detailed in the 2018 S.C. Hurricane Guide.

Farther north into the Delmarva Peninsula, residents of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and NY and coastal and inland areas should also monitor the storm and prepare in case the forecast shifts to the north and east, officials said. "Don't take a chance". Thank you for taking the time today.

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