Georgia Declares State of Emergency Over Hurricane Florence

Minnie NorrisSep 14, 2018

The latest computer models from the National Hurricane Center has shifted Florence's track further southwest, and southeast Virginia is no longer within the cone. It's likely to be the most intense storm to hit the region since Hurricane Hazel in 1954.

In a videotaped message from the White House, US President Donald Trump said the government is fully prepared for Florence but urged people to "get out of its way". The order eases regulations on trucks hauling gasoline and relief supplies into Georgia. In other words, this hurricane will basically stall - pounding the same parts of the Carolinas over and over again.

Laura Randolph said she felt comfortable with her plan.

While coastal residents frantically boarded up homes and businesses and hit the road, others chose to ride out a storm that is forecast to dump up to three feet (almost a meter) of rain in some areas.

On Monday, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ordered the medical evacuation of all hospitals in flood zones in Myrtle Beach, which led to Grand Strand Medical Center transferring patients to sister hospitals, including Doctors Hospital of Augusta.

Up to 1.7 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have been given voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders, according to emergency management officials, as the storm churned across the Atlantic Ocean toward the coast.

The slow movement, combined with the massive amount of moisture this storm holds, will bring unsafe rains - from 20 to 30 inches in coastal North Carolina, with 40 inches possible in isolated areas, the weather service says.

As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center showed Florence as a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour moving west-northwest at 16 miles per hour. About 1.7 million residents have been urged to flee from parts of North and SC. However, forecasters warn that it's still early to predict the level of impact.

Florence is the most unsafe of three tropical systems in the Atlantic.

If these projections hold, University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy says "it's exceptionally bad news, as it smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge". "Now it might be time for the exam", Baxley said late in the morning.

"It's fair to say that we may be seeing this play out again with Florence", Mann said.

Trump said: "We are sparing no expense".

Forecasters are anxious about the surge from Hurricane Florence, which is expected to be a major storm when it pounds the Carolinas on Thursday and Friday.

As skies fluctuated Tuesday between heavy showers and occasional bright spots, a certain sunny outlook swaddled Wrightsville Beach, despite the looming arrival of Florence's heavy winds and inundating rains that has prompted widespread evacuations along the southeastern U.S. coast.

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