Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Sci-tech | By Eric Barnett

Hurricane Florence evacuations expand, with 'disaster at doorstep'

Hurricane Florence evacuations expand, with 'disaster at doorstep'

The slow-moving storm, with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour, is expected.

Duke Energy, the second-largest energy company in the USA, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its four million customers in the Carolinas.

"The closer we get to Thursday and Friday, the better idea we'll have", said Gardner.

"Storms like that don't usually make it that far west". Most of the rain for the western half of the state will come from Sunday through the first half of next week.

Trump said the federal government was "absolutely, totally prepared" for Florence.

The state has set up the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund at rebuild.nc.gov to accept hurricane relief donations, Cooper said.

About 3,000 National Guard members have been activated to assist with hurricane recovery, and more are on standby, officials said. But it could have been worse: Labor Day marked the end of the peak tourism season in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and other coastal getaways. Water kills more people in hurricanes than wind, and he said it will still be an extremely unsafe storm for rain and storm surge.

A National Weather Service satellite monitoring Hurricane Florence has recorded a wave reaching 83 feet in the storm churning in the Atlantic Ocean.

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If the European model is true or the overall trend persists, University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said it "is exceptionally bad news, as it smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

The storm surge along the coast alone is expected to flood thousands of homes and businesses, Cooper said. Tropical Storm Isaac was expected to pass south of Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Cuba, while Hurricane Helene was moving northward away from land.

"The larger and slower the storm is, the greater the threat and impact, and we have that here", NHC Director Ken Graham said on Thursday.

In addition, the Georgia Hospital Association has created a webpage, www.gha.org/HurricaneCentral, that Georgia Emergency Management will keep updated with evacuee information to include Georgia Parks space that is available at no cost to evacuees.

The White House has approved requests from North Carolina and SC for federal emergency declarations, allowing for greater coordination among states and federal agencies. Its maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly to 110 miles per hour.

Many people in coastal communities have followed the mandatory evacuation orders, but some are vowing to stay put and ride it out. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storms aftermath, it said.

What would you take if a major hurricane was threatening to inundate or pull apart your home?

Forecasters said parts of North Carolina could get 50 centimeters of rain, if not more, with as much as 25 cm elsewhere in the state and in Virginia, parts of Maryland and Washington.

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