Hurricane Florence Zeroes In On Carolinas, Bringing 130 MPH Winds

‘Storm of lifetime’: Hurricane Florence barrels toward Carolinas as residents flee

‘Storm of lifetime’: Hurricane Florence barrels toward Carolinas as residents flee

The mayor of a SC city in the path of powerful Hurricane Florence is warning citizens to get out or stay "at your own peril". But despite that, bad things can happen when you're talking about a storm this size.

Motorists drive down I-40 westbound as the eastbound road is empty in advance of Hurricane Florence near Suttontown, North Carolina. "This will allow us to take care of our community and also be prepared should the need arise to assist others", Walker said.

A hurricane warning - meaning hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours - is in effect for a long stretch of the coast, from the Santee River in SC to Duck, N.C., which is part of the Outer Banks.

Florence is expected to make landfall between Thursday and Friday.

In Virginia, 245,000 coastal residents were ordered to evacuate, including from the Eastern Shore, another popular beachfront destination.

People fleeing North and SC clogged coastal highways early Wednesday as Hurricane Florence, a monster Category 4 storm, bore down on the U.S. east coast for a direct hit in a low-lying region dense with beachfront vacation homes.

Florence is so wide that a life-threatening storm surge was being pushed 300 miles ahead of its eye, and so wet that a swathe from SC to OH and Pennsylvania could get deluged.

Typhoon Mangkhut is estimated to have caused $250 million worth of damage to the Phillipines with rice and corn crops bearing the brunt of the storm.

"Protection of life is the absolute highest priority", he added. New projections indicate the now-Category 3 hurricane will move slightly southeast, with landfall expected between Wilmington and Morehead City, North Carolina.

"The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Florence", said Deal on the state government's website.

SC ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents while North Carolina ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination.

Myrtle Beach also announced a curfew starting 10 p.m. starting Wednesday until 6 p.m. Thursday.

Helene was weakening, however, and posed no danger to land, the NHC said, while Isaac could bring heavy rain to Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe.

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham says damaging winds and rain could begin hitting the coast late Thursday, pushing a storm surge that could reach 13 feet in places.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents. A steady stream of vehicles filled with people and belongings is moving inland.

Meanwhile the hurricane is forecast to dump 1ft to 2ft 6in of rain that could cause flooding well inland and wreak environmental havoc by washing over industrial waste sites and farms.

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