South Carolina declares emergency ahead of Florence

Gwen Vasquez
September 11, 2018

The governors of North and SC and Virginia declared states of emergency to give them time to prepare, and the Navy said ships in Virginia's Hampton Roads area would leave port for their own safety.

The National Hurricane Center said Saturday the storm was expected to become a "major hurricane" by Tuesday as it passes between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday. SC emergency management officials said they were "preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster". Mandatory evacuations have begun along North Carolina's coast.

Hurricanes Isaac, which could hit Caribbean islands, and Helene, much farther out to sea, lined up behind Florence as the 2018 Atlantic season reached its peak.

The Navy said all ships in Virginia's coastal Hampton Roads area were preparing to leave port for open seas. The storm had maximum sustained winds at 75 miles per hour and was moving west at 13 miles per hour.

The National Weather Center has also warned of risky rip currents in popular tourist areas like Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks.

Not only has the storm exploded in intensity, but its zone of hurricane-force winds approximately doubled in size Monday.

The probably path of Hurricane Florence as of September 9, 2018, estimating the landfall of the storm in the Carolinas at Thursday evening or Friday morning.

More news: Trump urges Ford, Apple to manufacture in U.S. , not China

Tropical Storm Helene was upgraded to a hurricane on Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said.

The NHC said there is "an increasing risk of life-threatening impacts for Florence", citing "storm surge at the coast, freshwater flooding from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event inland and damaging hurricane force winds". Cotton, corn and soybean fields, along with massive hog and poultry facilities lie in Florence's forecast path.Smithfield Foods Inc., the No. 1 hog producer, and chicken producer Sanderson Farms Inc. saw North Carolina operations disrupted in 2016 in flooding from Hurricane Matthew.

Swells generated by Florence are already affecting Bermuda and are beginning to reach portions of the US East Coast, the hurricane center said.

"Pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of South Carolina and is going to go way inshore", South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said.

Florida-based Carnival Cruise Line was re-routing its cruise ships, but there were other hurricanes to contend with.

Florence has been moving more toward the west and slightly northwest, potentially making direct landfall coming in from the east. It is expected to accelerate during the next 36 hours and head into the eastern Caribbean Sea by Thursday.

The government of the Cabo Verde Islands has discontinued the hurricane watch and tropical storm warning for the Cabo Verde islands of Santiago, Fogo, and Brava.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

Discuss This Article