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Hurricane Florence prompts mass evacuations
12 September 2018, 04:42 | Justin Tyler
"The last time our unit responded to support state active duty for a hurricane, I was very new to the unit and didn't know if there was much I could do to contribute", said Spc. "However, if the storm does stall, it could drop 10-20" of rain, leading to flooding well inland.
National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warned that Florence is expected to linger once onshore, downing trees, knocking out electricity and causing widespread flooding.
"Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!" tweetedPresident Donald Trump, adding: "WE are here for you". Because of the amount of rain expected, "historic" flooding could occur from Thursday through Sunday.
The hurricane could inundate low-lying islands off the coast of North Carolina, like the Outer Banks and other barrier islands, according to the NHC.
Packing maximum sustained winds of 225 km per hour, the storm ranked as a Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale and was expected to grow stronger and larger over the next few days, the NHC said.
The Pentagon sent a small team of Defense Department personnel to an emergency operations center in Raleigh, N.C., on Monday to carry out an assessment and coordinate with state officials, said Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman.
Boards are set up outside a grocery store before Hurricane Florence makes landfall.
Florence is so wide that a life-threatening storm surge was being pushed 300 miles (485 kilometres) ahead of its eye, and so wet that a swath from SC to OH and Pennsylvania could get deluged.
More than a million people are expected to flee low-lying areas, as SC and Virginia ordered mandatory evacuations of coastal areas starting on Tuesday. "Everyone was sold out", she said.
By 5 a.m. Tuesday, Florence was centered about 975 miles (1,570 kilometers) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west-northwest at 15 mph (24 kph). Coastal areas in both Carolinas have taken steps to evacuate residents and tourists, including a mandatory evacuation in SC.
Hurricane Florence, which started as a tropical storm on Sunday, strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane on Monday.
Two other storms were spinning in the Atlantic as the 2018 hurricane season reaches its peak. "Also, understand that a lot of people are going to be without power probably for several days if not longer".
Michelle Stober loaded up valuables on Tuesday at her home on Wrightsville Beach to drive back to her primary residence in Cary, North Carolina.
Ahead of Florence's arrival, barrier islands were already seeing risky rip currents and seawater flowed over a state highway - the harbinger of a storm surge that could wipe out dunes and submerge entire communities.
In Virginia, mandatory evacuations began Tuesday for about 245,000 residents in a portion of the Eastern Shore area.
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And Hurricane Florence will take aim at the Southeast coast of the United States late this week, likely as a major hurricane. Florence is still moving slowly, and could become a hurricane soon, the National Weather Center said.
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