North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned that staying put would be a grave mistake.
The space agency released footage showing what Hurricane Florence looks like from space on Wednesday, as states along the coast brace for what experts are saying will be a devastating impact.
Closing in with terrifying winds of 125 miles per hour and potentially catastrophic rain and storm surge, Florence is expected to blow ashore Saturday morning along the North Carolina-South Carolina line, the National Hurricane Center said. The hurricane was moving northwest in the Atlantic at 16 miles per hour and was packing sustained winds of 115 miles per hour.
As with most hurricanes, one of the difficulties of evacuating those in harm's way is dealing with the elderly, especially those in nursing homes.
- Overnight the storm shifted south.
In Charleston, South Carolina, streets were quiet with schools and many offices and businesses closed.
Hurricane and storm surge warnings are in place from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Duck, North Carolina.
Predictions now have the storm stalling and making a slight southward turn after it makes landfall. "So Florence is kind of spreading out, becoming a much larger, more stable hurricane". During that storm, only 14 lagoons out of several thousand flooded, Curliss said.
The precipitation from Florence will start midday Thursday and then it will rain for four days, said CNN Meteorologist Tom Sater.More than 1 million people are under mandatory evacuations in Virginia and the Carolinas, where up to 40 inches of rain could fall. "Florence is expected to slow down considerably by late Thursday into Friday, and move slowly through early Saturday". "You're going to be displaced from your home in coastal areas". "If you are on the coast, there is still time to get out safely".More news: This Insane Photo Of Hurricane Florence Is Going Viral
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The storm is expected to being heavy rain, powerful winds, and a strong storm surge. "And my job is closed". Duke Energy serves around 4 million people in North and SC.
Updated NHC forecasts showed the storm lingering near the coast, bringing days of heavy rains that could bring intense inland flooding from SC, where some areas could see as much as 40 inches (1m) of rain, to Virginia.
Duke Energy Corp expected between 25 percent and 75 percent of its 4 million customers would lose power in the Carolinas. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said. Even if it had hit a hundred years ago, a storm like Florence would be catastrophic, but rising sea levels have lifted the water table, leaving less space for rainwater to drain. Pull together their important documents. "It's a big one". "Play in the water, enjoy the sunshine". "The type of inundation we are talking about here happens very quickly".
"She continued, "Of course we're anxious". "In terms of the storm closures, we made the decision to close those stores with our teams in mind. You feel like you should have already left". "But no matter how bad it's going to be, it will pass and our job will be to rebuild this community together, and that's what we're going to do".
"In Awendaw, South Carolina, Chris Johnson is staying behind to watch his house while his wife, Michele, is evacuating".
Young estimates the storm surge to be between 15 and 20 feet.
Michele Johnson said she's anxious about her husband.
"We have not been asked to take evacuees yet and will evaluate our capability at the time of the request", Ralston said. "It's probably good for our marriage", she noted. I think it's a great compromise.
"Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said 59 shelters were either opened or will open by Thursday in his state and he urged residents in the areas expected to be hard hit to be vigilant".