Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Industry | By Faith Ward

3 million could lose power when Hurricane Florence hits

3 million could lose power when Hurricane Florence hits

A state of emergency has been declared in three U.S. states, as the east coast braces for the arrival of category five storm Florence.

"A lot of our storefronts are boarded up", said Lynn Davis, town manager for Belhaven which sits at sea level in northeastern North Carolina.

A satellite image shows Hurricane Florence looming in the Atlantic Ocean as the sun rises over the U.S. Florence is expected to bring tropical storm conditions to North Carolina and SC on Thursday and hurricane conditions on Friday.

Faced with new forecasts that showed a more southerly threat, Georgia's governor joined his counterparts in Virginia and North and SC in declaring a state of emergency, and some residents who had thought they were safely out of range boarded up their homes. Like Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Florence is expected to slow significantly when it reaches the coast, allowing the storm to dump a catastrophic amount of rain in the Carolinas.

Even with a slightly revised southward track, Hurricane Florence still poses a significant threat to central North Carolina and Alamance County.

It is predicted to stall even more off the coast of the Carolinas before scraping down the United States east coast and moving inland before the weekend. 'It is big and it is vicious'.

"This is shaping up to be a very risky scenario, as Florence nears our coast and stalls, unprecedented, and life-threatening flooding may unfold", the National Weather Service in Wilmington, North Carolina, wrote Wednesday.

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He added: "The waves and the wind this storm may bring is nothing like you've ever seen". So we could have two landfalls - one around Wilmington and then one near Myrtle Beach or even south of there. "Don't bet your life on riding out a monster".

More than 1.5 million people have been ordered to evacuate coastal areas ahead of the storm because of both destructive winds and a storm surge that could place normally dry land under at least 10 feet of water.

Federal officials begged residents to put together emergency kits and have a plan on where to go. It's going to destroy infrastructure.

"We are already experiencing heavily impacted traffic on some of the evacuation routes", said Jeff Byard, the associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

More than 20 inches (51 cm) of rainfall are possible across eastern North Carolina, said Don Keeney, senior agricultural meteorologist for weather forecaster Radiant Solutions. "It's going to have tremendous impact on our weather and local conditions". By sunset Thursday and through most of Friday, our area will see the worst of the conditions, he said.

"They told me to bring a pillow and blanket", Whisler said.

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