Georgia Gov. Deal declares state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence

Pablo Tucker
September 13, 2018

"This is not going to be a glancing blow", warned Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Fox News reported that sustained winds were picking up a bit along the North Carolina coast.

Though Florence won't be making landfall until Friday, tropical-storm-force winds - 39 to 73 miles per hour (63 to 117 km/h) - will begin whipping through coastal regions as early as tomorrow, making it exceptionally risky to be outside, Graham said.

The explanation, experts said, is relatively simple: More and more people are choosing to live near the coast, and housing and building costs in those locations are more expensive than they used to be.

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

While Florence has downgraded to category two, the damage is still expected to be substantial. It could stall just off the coast and then drift south along the SC coast and possibly make a landfall as a weaker system if it doesn't make it clearly over the coast of North Carolina.

Upon its arrival, the National Hurricane Center projects that Florence could drop anywhere from 20-40 inches of rain along the Carolina coast. "Florence is expected to slow down considerably by late Thursday into Friday, and move slowly through early Saturday".

At least 461 schools across the state were either shut down or closing early on Thursday, according to local TV station WRAL, and many were being used as emergency shelters during the storm. Florence is now expected to make a slightly earlier arrival near the border of North and SC early Friday. That could punish a longer stretch of coastline, and for a longer period of time, than previously thought.

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

The National Weather Service initially predicted that South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia would be the states directly in the storm's path. The Navy, Air Force and Army were moving ships and aircraft out of harm's way. Thousands of Marines and their families evacuated from Camp Lejeune, leaving the rest to dig in ahead of what could be a direct hit.

Map shows probable path of Hurricane Florence.

During a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Roy Cooper said there are 750,000 to 1 million people under evacuation orders.

"But despite that, bad things can happen when you are talking about a storm this size", he added.

Other reports by iNewsToday