3 million could lose power when Hurricane Florence hits

Adjust Comment Print

Millions urged to flee inland hours before it was due to announce its arrival with torrential downpours.

. With Hurricane Florence set to wallop the area as a Category 4 hurricane, there are fears the ponds could overflow or even collapse amid extremely heavy rain, sending vast amounts of manure from thousands of farms into rivers and contaminating groundwater.

The fierce winds of Hurricane Florence are weakening as it creeps closer to North Carolina but the impact of the vast storm will still be catastrophic for millions of people.

The warning was issued on Wednesday by the UAE Embassy on its Twitter account.

Recent tracking maps show Florence stalking near the coast line, increasing the chances of flooding across four states.

Appeals to stay safe came from as far away as space as German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted pictures of the monster storm taken from the International Space Station along with the warning: "Watch out, America!"

"Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you", Gerst said.

That high-pressure dome aloft over the western Atlantic is now expected to weaken Thursday into Friday.

"It doesn't matter how much money you have or how many generators you have if you can't get gas", she said. "We'll handle it. We're ready, we're able".

"Protection of life is the absolute highest priority", he added.

Winds of 40 miles per hour or greater will advance onshore in eastern North Carolina during the day on Thursday.

"This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast", said Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Storm surges up to 3.9 meters (13 feet), the possibility of tornados and nearly a meter of rain in some areas of North and SC were expected when Hurricane Florence makes landfall late Thursday.

The Union Point Park Complex is seen flooded as the Hurricane Florence comes ashore in New Bern, North Carolina, U.S., September 13, 2018. Reacting to the possibility of a more southerly track, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared an emergency but did not immediately order any evacuations.

"I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in the path of Hurricane Florence", Deal said.

The storm is moving steadily toward the Carolinas' coastal areas.

St. Helena Island near the South Carolina-Georgia line is used to riding out big storms - from one that killed an estimated 2,000 people in 1893 to Tropical Storm Irma past year.

Hurricane warnings continue in parts of eastern North Carolina and northern coastal SC. "There's nobody left to work". Spokesman Howard Fowler said restoration could take "weeks instead of days", even though 20,000 workers, including crews from outside the area, were standing by. "You can't stop Mother Nature".

In a trailer park outside Wilmington, Alondra Espinoza was preparing to leave with her two young children.

"I'm lucky to be here today, but wherever they're going to send me I'm going". She said a hurricane has a way of bringing everyone to the same level.

Their entire neighborhood evacuated in Wilmington, North Carolina, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter's one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte.

Despite pleas from officials, some residents ignored calls to evacuate. The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".