Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Economy | By

Hurricane Florence: 'We are planning for devastation'

Hurricane Florence: 'We are planning for devastation'

"Don't bet your life on riding out a monster".

Mandatory coastal evacuations were in effect for civilians in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, but the military base posted on Facebook that different chains-of-command would decide whether to release non-essential personnel, and some relatives vented fears that they wouldn't be able to evacuate in time. But getting out of harm's way could prove hard.

"This will be a storm that creates and causes massive damage to our country", he said, adding that significant inland flooding is expected in states including Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Residents prepared by boarding up their homes and stripping grocery stores bare of food, water and supplies.

Between the two cities, about two hours apart, the traffic flowed smoothly in places and became gridlocked in others because of fender-benders. Some gas stations also ran low on fuel.

"Additional watches may be required later today", said the National Hurricane Center, warning inland areas have as much to worry about as the coast.

A hurricane watch, which means hurricane conditions were possible, has been issued for most of the coastline of South Carolina and North Carolina, specifically, from Edisto Beach, South Carolina, to the North Carolina-Virginia border.

At least 250,000 more people were due to be evacuated from the northern Outer Banks in North Carolina on Tuesday after more than 50,000 people were ordered on Monday to leave Hatteras and Ocracoke, the southernmost of the state's barrier islands.

Although the storm's winds will likely diminish rapidly after making landfall, the heavy rain will persist as it stalls over portions of North Carolina and Virginia. If you put 2, 3, 4 feet of rain over flat ground, you have a certain kind of problem.

The storm forced people to cut their vacations short along the coast.

Paula Matheson of Springfield, Oregon, has been getting the full Southern experience during her 10-week RV vacation: hot weather, good food, lovely beaches and, now, a hurricane evacuation.

A "probable" track of Hurricane Florence continues to show the storm hitting the North Carolina coast sometime Thursday night or early Friday. "Eighty-five degrees", Matheson said, pausing a moment. The biggest problem now is there is nothing to slow or weaken this storm between now and then.

Since reliable record-keeping began more than 150 years ago, North Carolina has been hit by only one Category 4 hurricane: Hazel, with 130 miles per hour winds, in 1954.

The storm is now around 400 miles south of Bermuda and is moving at 16 mph (26 kph).

Forecasters have said that if it lingers over the region, several feet of rain might fall. Early Tuesday, almost 6 percent of Wilmington, North Carolina stations reported running out of supplies, said retail tracking service GasBuddy.

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