Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

One million asked to evacuate as Hurricane Florence closes in

One million asked to evacuate as Hurricane Florence closes in

"Further strengthening is anticipated, and Florence is expected to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday", NHC officials warned in another advisory.

Evacuation shelters will open on Tuesday and be available to individuals based on need, said Kim Stenson, director of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division.

Despite the storm being still some distance away from land, the National Hurricane Center has confirmed it is on track to hit the area around North and SC by Friday.

"Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!"

But Feltgen warns against comparing the two: Even if someone may have survived Harvey, he said, it doesn't mean they would survive Florence.

He estimated about 1 million residents would flee the coast of his state, following earlier orders for the evacuation of more than 50,000 people from the southern-most Outer Banks barrier islands of North Carolina.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency as well as mandatory evacuation orders along the eastern coastline.

The commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command directed almost 30 ships to steam away from the Hampton Roads area of southeastern Virginia, home to Naval Station Norfolk. By Monday morning, the hurricane center classified Florence as a "major" Category 3 hurricane, with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour.

The storm's first effects were already apparent on barrier islands as unsafe rip currents hit beaches and seawater flowed over a state highway.

All eyes are on Hurricane Florence and its path toward the Carolinas, but several other hurricanes are brewing as well.

Mindful of devastation wrought by a string of deadly US hurricanes a year ago, residents in the Carolinas began the rituals of disaster preparation - boarding up windows and stocking up on groceries, water and gasoline.

The office of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam predicted "catastrophic inland flooding, high winds and possible widespread power outages". "We know we can't play around with this", said Jennifer Oosterwyk, who owns the Sugar Britches boutique on Holden Beach and lives in nearby Wilmington. Read on to see maps of Hurricane Florence's track along with the current projected path. Hurricanes are a bit unpredictable at this stage, so stay tuned as details can change over time.

By 8 a.m. Tuesday, Florence was centred about 950 miles (1,530 kilometres) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west-northwest at 15 mph (24 kph).

Forecasters say the hurricane's strength is expected to fluctuate but it still will be a unsafe storm by the time it reaches the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday. "Most of the storms that come off of Africa generally move from east to west, and then they curve around that [high-pressure system and go] to the north and, hopefully, off into the Atlantic", Bell told Live Science.

Maui County is expected to experience tropical storm-level winds starting Tuesday.

Some forecasts call for Florence to stall out after it strikes the coast.

As of 11 p.m. ET Monday, Florence had maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Like this: