Hurricane Florence threatens to snarl travel across Mid-Atlantic states

Frederick Owens
September 15, 2018

Up to 10 million people lie in the path of the storm, which still poses a risk to life and property, although it has been downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane. After Florence's rain starts to fall this week, he said, the rainfall could continue through Monday.

Duke Energy, the nation's No. 2 power company, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.

"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).

The threat has sparked a rush of evacuation efforts in SC and North Carolina, with more than 1 million people urged to get out of Florence's way.

And it led to mixed signals from officials in SC, whose governor had canceled mandatory evacuation for several coastal counties.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, concerned the storm would bring its devastation south, issued an emergency declaration for all 159 counties in his state.

In the 11 p.m. ET advisory, Florence was 280 miles southeast of Wilmington, NC, packing maximum-sustained winds of 110 mph and moving to the northwest at 17 mph.

Amanda Kinseth, reporter for WPDE ABC 15 News in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Their entire neighborhood evacuated in Wilmington, North Carolina, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter's one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte. Some of these reactors - including Duke Energy's Brunswick and Harris nuclear plants in North Carolina and Dominion Energy's Surry plant in Virginia - may be directly in the hurricane's path, Reuters reported.

More news: Watch a livestream of Hurricane Florence bearing down on North Carolina

Emergency preparations in SC now include more than 2,100 of the state's National Guard soldiers.

Satellites orbiting Earth have also been keeping tabs on Florence from above.

People in areas vulnerable to a risky hurricane have left or are fleeing ahead of the storm's expected Friday or Saturday landfall.

And there's "a huge difference" in the size and type of damage Florence inflicts if it stays 50 miles (80 kilometers) off shore versus heading inland immediately, Landsea said.

Predictions now have the storm stalling and making a slight southward turn after it makes landfall.

Masters said there's a tug-of-war between two clear skies high pressure systems - one off the coast and one over MI - and the more the Great Lakes one wins, the more southerly Florence will be.

North Carolina Gov Roy Cooper said: "The waves and the wind this storm may bring is nothing like you've ever seen".

Moreover, high tides around noon and midnight these next few days will make the storm surges even worse, Samson said.

"We ask you to heed the warnings - today is the day". "It's called Mother Nature".

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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