Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Hurricane Florence: Georgia Governor declares state of EMERGENCY for all 159 counties

Theresa Hayes | 13 September, 2018, 09:58

Florence, now a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (209 km/h), was previously expected to travel north, up the North Carolina coast, after making landfall, according to the statement.

Amazing, yet terrifying video from a plane flying into the eye of Hurricane Florence, takes a look inside the Category 4 storm that's barreling towards the US East Coast.

Early Wednesday afternoon in North Carolina, the storm was centered 700 kilometers (435 miles) off the coast, moving at 26 kph (16 mph) towards the U.S. coastline.

"Today's the day", Jeff Byard of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday.

Landfall is expected late Thursday or early Friday, and the National Hurricane Center fears the storm "will slow considerably or stall, leading to a prolonged and exceptionally heavy and unsafe rainfall event Friday-Sunday".

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, concerned the storm would bring devastation south, issued an emergency declaration for all 159 counties in his state. As of now, Florence is due to make landfall very early Friday morning, somewhere in the Carolinas.

Forecasters warn Hurricane Florence could hesitate just offshore for days, punishing a longer stretch of coastline, before pushing inland.

While Hurricane Florence has sparked state of emergency and mass evacuation, a very unfortunate weather graphic has managed to put a smile on those preparing for the storm.

- As mandatory evacuations are in place for Beaufort, Dare, Pamlico and Tyrrell county beaches (Atlantic, Indian, Emerald Isle, Pine Knoll Shores, Ocracoke, Carolina, Kure, Wrightsville, Topsail, Currituck Outer Banks, Oak Island and Holden), most people are heeding the warning and getting out in advance of Hurricane Florence.

Wednesday afternoon's announcement came after a Wednesday morning forecast that predicted a slight southern shift in Florence's path that could increase the impact in the Midlands.

"If I need to evacuate I can go to my son's house" in North Carolina, Sparks said as he carted a load of water bottles to his vehicle. Authorities in Chatham County, Georgia, which borders SC and includes the historic port city of Savannah, urged residents who feel unsafe "to evacuate as they see fit".

According to CNN, more than 1 million people have been told to evacuate coastal areas of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Melody Rawson evacuated her first-floor apartment in Myrtle Beach and arrived at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., to camp for free with three other adults, her disabled son, two dogs and a pet bird.

Forecasters anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast. "Also, a little creepy".