People flee USA coast as Hurricane Florence nears Carolinas

NASA via Getty Images

NASA via Getty Images

Last year, the United States was hit by three major hurricanes. The report also said that some facilities for inmates in Virginia are also planning evacuations, according to the state's Departments of Corrections.

These alerts are usually issued about 48 hours before storms are set to touch down, when the arrival of tropical force winds would make any last-minute preparation hard.

The soaked ground and fierce winds could bring down trees and power lines and knock out electricity for weeks.

Speaking at a news conference, the official said the hurricane was expected to spread out into the Central Appalachian mountains, the Tennessee Valley, and southeastern parts of the USA after Saturday.

"Forecasts generally project the storm to make landfall between northern SC and North Carolina's Outer Banks as a strong Category 3 on Thursday, although shifts in the track are possible and storm impacts will expand great distances beyond where landfall occurs".

A storm surge warning was issued from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Duck, North Carolina, and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers. It's going to destroy infrastructure.

"This is not going to be a glancing blow", warned Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Savage, soaking Hurricane Florence nears Carolina coast

"We decided that we were not going to do that again, and so we were actually lucky this time to get all of the emergency contacts" to pick up the dogs that were in their care, she said. Seven-day rainfall totals are forecast to reach 10 to 20 inches over much of North Carolina and Virginia, and even 30 inches in some places.

One trusted computer model, the European simulation, predicted more than 45 inches in parts of North Carolina. University of Miami hurricane expert Brian McNoldy said that rain measured in feet is "looking likely". "All you have to do is look up at your ceiling, and think about 12 feet (of water)".

Gerry Leighton, who runs the dog daycare franchise Camp Bow Wow in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, was able to evacuate all of the dogs staying in the camp by Tuesday, more than two days ahead of the storm's expected landfall on early Friday.

Florence has forced people to cut their holidays short along the coast, while the storm's projected path includes half a dozen nuclear power plants, pits holding coal-ash and other industrial waste, and numerous pig farms that store animal waste in huge lagoons. And he had advice for coastal residents. "If you have to make large scale evacuations, make the call early".

"We've seen nor'easters and we've seen hurricanes before", Cooper said, "but this one is different".

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued an evacuation order for about 245,000 residents in flood-prone coastal areas beginning at 8 a.m. local time and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered about 1 million residents along his state's coastline to leave starting at noon on Tuesday.

An American astronaut posted two additional photographs from the International Space Station, showing the storm aimed at Cape Hatteras, a thin and vulnerable strand of islands that jut out from North Carolina.

Expert warnings for Hurricane Florence
Watches in effect Tuesday forecast a storm surge of up to 12 feet at high tide from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout in North Carolina. He said Florence could rival the impact of Hurricane Hugo , which wreaked $7bn (£5.3bn) in damage and claimed 49 lives in 1989.

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