Companies across USA gear up to help those affected by Hurricane Florence

10 October, 2018, 00:33 | Author: Jacqueline Daniels
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The National Hurricane Center listed the massive storm moving west-northwest at 17 miles per hour with winds about 130 miles per hour, and expected to reach the coast Thursday night to Friday morning, The News & Observer reported. At 11am (1500 GMT) on Wednesday, the storm was located about 485 miles (785 km) southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina. Its maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly to 110 miles per hour.

Hurricane conditions will likely hit the area around North Carolina's southern coast on Friday, but tropical storm conditions will arrive on Thursday, according to the hurricane center.

For a swathe of the North Carolina shore from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, the storm surge could range from 9-13 feet, the NHC said.

"The main life-threatening risk may be a prolonged heavy rainfall event with associated flooding", the weather service in Columbia, South Carolina, said.

Gov. Henry McMaster has ordered evacuations in counties along the state's coast, including Charleston.

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — Hurricane Florence put a corridor of more than 10 million people in the crosshairs Wednesday as the monster storm closed in on the Carolinas, uncertainty over its projected path spreading worry across a widening swath of the Southeast.

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The NHC said Florence's official track forecast could be adjusted further south soon, reflecting increasing pressure from this ridge pushing the storm more toward SC and Georgia.

Storm surge flooding does not include floods caused by the heavy rain from the hurricane, such as what happened past year in Houston with Hurricane Harvey and in North Carolina in 2016 during Hurricane Matthew.

For anyone needing a place to stay to escape the hurricane, both North Carolina and SC are updating their lists of emergency shelters. More than a million people along the state's coast have been given evacuation notices.

Tens of thousands of homes and businesses could be flooded in North Carolina alone, Governor Cooper warned.

"This week alone, we've shipped more than 1 million bottles of water, along with food, flashlights, batteries, phone chargers, cleaning supplies and more".

Florence is predicted to turn more toward the northwest by this afternoon and through Thursday - but then it's expected to head more west-northwest, and stall a bit over the Carolinas.

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See the complete latest updates on Hurricane Florence including timeline, warning areas and the official forecast here.

"Plan for extreme wind of equivalent CAT 3 hurricane force or higher due to possible forecast changes in track, size, or intensity", the National Weather Service says.

Florence is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 20 to 30 inches along the North Carolina coast - and possibly 40 inches in some spots.

On Wednesday morning, Florence was extending hurricane-force winds outward up to 70 miles from its center, with tropical storm-force winds up to 175 miles outward.

"This storm is going to be a direct hit", he added. "It's a big one", President Trump said in a taped message. Rivers will continue to rise days after the rain has stopped, he said.

"Do you want to get hit with a train or do you want to get hit with a cement truck?" said Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "As guests stock up, we know some of these items are selling out, but we're working around the clock to restock them as long as we safely can", the company said in a statement.

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