Hurricane Florence: Georgia Governor declares state of EMERGENCY for all 159 counties

James Marshall
September 14, 2018

At this time, Florence was a Category 1 hurricane.

Duke Energy has around 4 million customers in North and SC, and says it could take several weeks to restore the electricity.

Incredible time-lapse footage filmed from a hurricane-hunting plane shows what's it's like to fly through the eye of Florence, the storm that's already forced more than 1 million people to evacuate.

The storm was heading for the coast of North and SC but heavy rain was also expected in Virginia to the north and Georgia to the south.

While Florence is no longer considered a major hurricane, its reach has expanded, threatening residents from Georgia to Virginia. When Hurricane Floyd made landfall near Cape Fear in 1999 as a Category 2 storm, bloated carcasses of hundreds of thousands of hogs, chickens and other drowned livestock bobbed in a nose-stinging soup of fecal matter, pesticides, fertilizer and gasoline so toxic that fish flopped helplessly to escape it.

A buoy off the North Carolina coast recorded waves almost 30 feet (9 meters) high as Florence churned toward shore.

Hurricane Florence was on course to deliver a devastating blow to the east coast of the United States, with millions urged to flee inland hours before it was due to announce its arrival with torrential downpours.

The US president said he had spoken to governors of threatened states, adding that the "federal government stands by, ready to assist 24/7".

The hurricane's sheer size means it could batter the U.S. East Coast with hurricane-force winds for almost a full day, according to weather forecasters. Reacting to the possibility of a more southerly track, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared an emergency but did not immediately order any evacuations.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said: "Florence is still forecast to be an extremely risky major hurricane when it nears the U.S. coast late Thursday and Friday".

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

Industrial waste, including toxic ash from power plants, could also be spread by flooding from the massive storm, which has caused mandatory evacuations of coastal areas in both Carolinas and Virginia, the AP reports.

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. There is also a "slight" risk of tornadoes in the coastal region of North Carolina.

"But I'm staying", she said. "I want to get them as far away as possible". She said a hurricane has a way of bringing everyone to the same level. "If I can't get back in a week, after a while they might turn on each other or trash the place". The flooding in southeast North Carolina and northeast SC might be "unprecedented", according to the agency.

Despite pleas from officials, some residents ignored calls to evacuate. The first tropical-storm-strength winds are now expected to hit on Thursday at 2 p.m. and last throughout the weekend.

The storms path is promising to bring even more devastation than first predicted to the Carolinas and parts of Georgia.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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