Hurricane Florence: Residents urged to rush as ‘unprecedented disaster’ looms

Hurricane Florence: Residents urged to rush as ‘unprecedented disaster’ looms

Hurricane Florence: Residents urged to rush as ‘unprecedented disaster’ looms

Hurricane Florence is now expected to head more directly west after making landfall, crossing through SC. Landfall was expected sometime late Thursday and FEMA officials said Wednesday was the last day for people to get out safely.

Town manager Michael Cramer told the New York Times he was anxious Florence would be even more devastating than Hurricane Hazel, which lashed the town in 1954, destroying 362 buildings.

Florence is so wide that a life-threatening storm surge was being pushed 300 miles (485 kilometers) ahead of its eye, and so wet that a swath from SC to OH and Pennsylvania could get deluged. Current forecasts call for Florence to be at least a Category 3 storm when it arrives at the Carolinas.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency "in light of the storm's forecasted southward track after making landfall".

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FEMA has warned that while downgraded, the storm will still generate life threatening storm surge and rainfall in North and SC . Tropical storm-force winds extended 195 miles from Florence's centre, and hurricane-force winds reached out 70 miles.

A National Weather Service forecaster in Wilmington, North Carolina, said: 'This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast. Coastal North Carolina could see 20 to 30 inches as well. REUTERS/Randall HillDennis Kernodle talks on the phone during storm preparations of his oceanfront home ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, U.S. September 12, 2018.

By late Thursday into Friday, steering patterns in the atmosphere may completely break down causing the storm to stall just off the coast of southeast North Carolina and northeast SC.

"We are monitoring the track of the storm and so far the information I am getting is Athens can expect gusty winds and a moderate amount of rain", Burgess said.

'I can't emphasise enough the potential for unbelievable damage from wind, storm surge and inland flooding with this storm'.

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While some said they planned to stay put despite hurricane watches and warnings that include the homes of more than 5.4 million people on the East Coast, many weren't taking any chances.

The eye was about 530 miles southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, moving west-northwest at 17 miles per hour.

President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.

A steady stream of vehicles full of people and belongings flowed inland Tuesday, and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper tried to convince everyone to flee.

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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.

All three states ordered mass evacuations along the coast.

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