Pence heading to Georgia ahead of Hurricane Florence

Cristina Cross
September 13, 2018

Fierce winds and massive waves are expected to lash the coasts of North and SC and Virginia even before Florence makes landfall by early Friday, bringing a storm surge as much as 13 feet (4 meters).

Enough rain could fall to break North Carolina's record for a tropical storm - 24 inches - set near Wilmington during Hurricane Floyd in 1999, said Greg Carbin, chief of forecast operations at the Weather Service's national prediction center.

The storm is expected to be just offshore by Friday and is now a Category 3 storm with 125mph top sustained winds.

"I just hope that people will not decide to write off the storm, and that's the most important thing to save peoples's lives". They warned that the storm could unleash catastrophic flooding from southern Virginia to southern Georgia and stretch hundreds of miles inland.

Forecasts showed the storm lingering near the coast of the Carolinas, carrying days of heavy rains that could bring intense inland flooding from SC to Virginia.

"We are ready. We're as ready as anybody's ever been".

BMW of North America has a plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, almost 300 miles (483 km) inland from the life-threatening hurricane's projected point of landfall on Friday, and automobile shipments were diverted.

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Add Hurricane Florence as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Hurricane Florence news, video, and analysis from ABC News. Similar declarations were made earlier in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Even worse: Florence is expected to hover over the Carolinas, whipping hurricane-force winds and dumping relentless rain at least through Saturday.

The threat has sparked a rush of evacuation efforts in SC and North Carolina, with more than a million people urged to get out of Florence's way.

Marshall: Well, if it does follow the path of come more toward Charlotte, when can we expect to see the greatest effect here in the Charlotte region? Hurricane Florence was more recently downgraded to a Category 2 storm.

The hurricane is expected to weaken into a tropical depression as it continues westward into SC and Georgia. In Virginia, officials have evacuated one state prison, though local jails in the affected area are planning to keep inmates in place after stockpiling food and fuel, the Virginian-Pilot reports.

The pivot in the forecasted track of Florence led Georgia's governor to declare a state of emergency for all 159 counties, home to 10.5 million people. Over 1.5 million people are under evacuation orders. "Everyone was sold out", she said. The power is going to be off for weeks. So we could have two landfalls - one around Wilmington and then one near Myrtle Beach or even south of there.

Panovich: Right now it looks like landfall is going to occur sometime early Friday morning between, I would say, 4 a.m. and probably about 8 a.m., but it might actually never make it all the way in.

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