3 million could lose power when Hurricane Florence hits

Olive Hawkins
September 14, 2018

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

The storm is now 280 miles southeast of Wilmington with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph.

"I've been through hurricanes before but never with kids", she said.

As of Tuesday, more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out. "This is a big, big storm with a lot of water and heavy rain". Although wind speeds have dropped - Florence was a Category 4 on Monday with 140 miles per hour winds - the National Hurricane Center warned wind fields are still expanding, and the hurricane has more total energy, which will "create a significant storm-surge event".

Duke Energy, the nation's No. 2 power company, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.

"The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety", Deal said.

SC ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents while North Carolina ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination. Residents of Beaufort, Colleton and Jasper counties were told they would not need to evacuate with residents on the rest of the coast.

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"We've had our lessons".

Storm surges up to 3.9 meters (13 feet), the possibility of tornados and nearly a meter of rain in some areas of North and SC were expected when Hurricane Florence makes landfall late Thursday.

Melody Rawson evacuated her first-floor apartment in Myrtle Beach and arrived at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, to camp for free with three other adults, her disabled son, two dogs, and a pet bird.

"We hope to have something left when we get home", she said.

Forecasters anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast. The researchers continuously track the hurricane as it makes landfall to collect data on the storm's speed, intensity and structure. "If you are on the coast, there is still time to get out safely".

"It's been really nice", Nicole Roland said.

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