More than 1 million under evacuation as Hurricane Florence nears Carolinas

Gwen Vasquez
September 11, 2018

Nasa said the storm, now brewing above the Atlantic Ocean, had weakened to Category 1 strength, but is expected to strengthen into a Category 3 hurricane by the time it makes landfall on the United States mainland.

Hurricane Florence has now intensified to category 4, with 130 miles per hour winds. It was centred east-south-east of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west.

The president ordered federal assistance to supplement state, tribal and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from Hurricane Florence.

The NHC is already warning for the possibility of "life-threatening inundation" from storm surge from Edisto Beach, South Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border in the next 48 hours.

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President Donald Trump on Monday urged "the incredible citizens of North Carolina, South Carolina and the entire East Coast" to "take all necessary precautions" as the storm approaches.

Hurricane Florence isn't the only storm churning in the Atlantic Ocean. As of 5 p.m., hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the storm's center, while tropical storm-force winds extend out 150 miles.

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Storms increase in frequency and intensity by mid-August and into September as temperatures in the Atlantic climb to their highest levels, Javaheri said.

Evacuations were also ordered along the Virginia coast for about 245,000 people, according to Gov. Ralph Northam.

Beyond the damage from wind and high surf, Hurricane Florence is predicted to slow over the Carolinas where it may dump up to 30 inches (76 centimetres) of rain over much of North and SC. Mandatory evacuations have begun along North Carolina's coast.

The United States was hit with a series of high-powered hurricanes a year ago, including Hurricane Maria, which killed about 3,000 people in Puerto Rico, and Hurricane Harvey, which killed 68 and caused an estimated US$1.25 billion in damage from catastrophic flooding in Houston.

Initial predictions didn't quite pan out this year - so far, we've had nine named storms and five hurricanes. She grew up on the island chain, and says this will be only the second time she's evacuated. Starting then, all roads on I-26 and Route 501 will be directed away from the coast, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said. Hurricane Isaac was expected to lose strength as it reaches the Caribbean, and Helene, much farther out to sea, may veer northward into the open ocean as the 2018 hurricane season reaches its peak.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper urged his state's residents to get ready, noting the storm was generating swelling waves and unsafe currents. He estimated that about 1 million people will be affected by the order, including residents and visitors.

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