Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
IT | By Darin Griffith

States Prepare for ‘Storm of a Lifetime’ as Hurricane Florence Looms

States Prepare for ‘Storm of a Lifetime’ as Hurricane Florence Looms

"The governor said that North Carolina is the bull's eye of this hurricane", Larry Wooten, president of the North Carolina Farm Bureau, said in an interview. "This is a storm that is historic, maybe once in a lifetime".

"This is not going to be a glancing blow, " warned Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

More than a million people are under mandatory evacuation orders in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia as the National Hurricane Center's latest projected track has shifted somewhat south and west, throwing Georgia into peril as Florence moves inland.

Florence catapulted from a Category 2 to a Category 4 hurricane over the span of several hours.

A hurricane warning was also in effect for all of the North Carolina coast and the northern coast of SC, while a hurricane watch was in effect for the rest of the SC seaboard.

"We have to be careful we're not asking them to come back to Beaufort County through a storm", he said.

The soaked ground and fierce winds could bring down trees and power lines and knock out electricity for weeks. "You're going to be displaced from your home in coastal areas".

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This decrease in movement will have catastrophic effects as concentrated areas of heavy rainfall could trigger flash flooding and rivers to burst their banks.

"This storm is going to be a direct hit".

He cited forecasts showing Florence was likely to stall over North Carolina, "bringing days and days of rain".

The category 4 storm carrying maximum sustained winds of 215 km/h would probably strike the southern coast of North Carolina by late Thursday or early Friday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

There is also particular concern about the storm lingering once it nears the coast and moves onshore, allowing it to drop torrential amounts of rain in certain parts of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Governors of those states have already declared states of emergency, as have the governors of Virginia and Maryland. While initial forecasts had Jasper in Florence's crosshairs, updated information has downgraded the threat posed to it.

Michael Kennedy, an engineer at Boeing, said he planned to leave on Tuesday for his parents' home in Atlanta, Georgia.

"We hope to have something left when we get home", she said. Will the winds be that strong or they'll be stronger when they get here than that?

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Charleston, resident William Belli said he would not be among those joining the exodus.

Walking his dog along empty streets, Belli said he's well stocked with food and water.

Another commenter said: 'That hurricane better be taking me to dinner first'. And he had advice for coastal residents.

All three states ordered mass evacuations along the coast.

"Nonetheless, there still would be a very life threatening storm surge of somewhere around 10 to 15 feet".

Some areas are expected to see between 20 and 30 inches of rain through early next week in the area shaded in purple in the second image above. He said the federal government is "absolutely, totally prepared" for Florence.

SC authorities have turned four motorways into one-way routes away from the coast to speed the exodus.

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