SC refusing to evacuate inmates as monster storm Florence nears

Cristina Cross
September 13, 2018

Highways clogged with people fleeing North and SC early Wednesday as monstrous Category 4 Hurricane Florence rumbled toward the eastern United States as the biggest storm there in decades.

The Category 4 storm was expected to start hitting the North and SC coasts sometime Thursday or Friday, and should make landfall near Wilmington, N.C., early Saturday morning, according to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center.

Coastal residents fleeing a potentially devastating blow from Hurricane Florence encountered empty gasoline pumps and depleted store shelves as the monster storm neared the Carolina coast with 130 miles per hour winds and drenching rain that could last for days.

The storm is expected to bring tropical storm-force winds, life-threatening storm surges of seawater and 35 inches (89 cm) of rain to parts of the Carolinas and Virginia, where intense inland flooding was expected, the center said.

Updated NHC 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.

The storm is expected to make landfall on Saturday morning and could become a Category 5 storm with winds up to 175 miles per hour.

Cooper, the governor of neighboring North Carolina, ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination, and parts of coastal Dare County.

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Federal Emergency Management Agency associate administrator Jeff Byard said: "This is not going to be a glancing blow".

The hurricane is expected to make landfall somewhere in the Carolinas early Friday.

Another resident staying put despite evacuation orders to over 1 million people throughout the Carolinas and Virginia is Jon Wright, a retired firefighter. He underlined the point that even if you call 911, there is a chance rescue services may not be able to get to you.

"Be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas", Mr Deal said in a statement.

To hasten evacuations from coastal SC, officials reversed the flow of traffic on some highways so all major roads led away from shore. "Everyone was sold out", she said. But one thing it might actually help is to reduce the overall wind speed, though we're still going to have gusty winds around here which combined with that wet soil could bring down some trees.

North Carolina resident Roberto Guzman carries belongings from his mobile home as he leaves Wilmington a day before the storm is due to strike. As it turns into southern SC.

"The big picture: There are several characteristics of the changing climate that are helping to increase the risks of damage from Hurricane Florence, even though global warming is not directly causing such a storm to spin up".

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