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

14 September 2018

Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the Carolinas, poised to slam the coastline Friday.

"Get out of its way, don't play games with it. It's a big one", he said.

Crews board up the Oceanic restaurant in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, in preparation for Hurricane Florence.

The storm, which is building up over the Atlantic, is due to make landfall in either North or SC within the next few days, and is expected to be the worst storm to hit the area in 30 years.

As Hurricane Florence strengthens in the Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center over night shifted its forecast south, raising the potential for tropic storm-force winds to parts of Florida as soon as Friday evening. Find out now if you live in a flood prone area or a location that will be greatly impacted by storm surge.

"We have also touched base with our vendors to ensure we are stocked up and prepared should any delays or shortages occurs as a result" of the storm", she said.

For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit the GEMA/HS website here. Florence is a powerful category 3 hurricane and is moving steadily toward the Carolina coastal areas. It was packing winds of 215kmh and enough moisture to dump 30cm of rain on the region.

"A state of emergency has been declared for all 159 counties in Georgia in advance of Hurricane Florence impacts".

"In collaboration with state emergency agencies and the Georgia Hospital Association, we are monitoring bed counts daily so that we can quickly and accurately assist with any necessary evacuations", said Sydney Walker, spokesperson for Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center.

In South Carolina, traffic in all lanes of Interstate 26 from Charleston to Columbia has been directed away from the coast, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said.

With the storm churning across the Atlantic with 140 miles per hour winds, hurricane watches and warnings include the homes of more than 5.4 million people on the East Coast.

"They say it's about as big as they've seen coming to this country and certainly to the East Coast as they've ever seen".

Forecasters said Wednesday that Florence's wind field is expanding, making it a large, stable hurricane with a clearly defined eye at its center.

Officials in several states have declared states of emergency, including Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms.

Still, some companies do look more exposed than others.

"It's been really nice", Nicole Roland said. "You feel like you should have already left".

For many of those under evacuation orders, getting out of harm's way has proved difficult, as airlines cancelled flights and motorists had a hard time finding gas. Allison Jones said she's not taking any chances.

Florence is the most unsafe of three tropical systems in the Atlantic. Forecasters also were tracking two other disturbances. However, it is becoming more certain that Florence will bring a unsafe storm surge to the Carolina coast and life-threatening flooding. Thousands of Marines and their families evacuated from Camp Lejeune, leaving the rest to dig in ahead of what could be a direct hit.