Americans who reside on the East Coast have been instructed to thoroughly prepare of an enormous hurricane which is headed their way. The category four hurricane, Florence, is set to hit North and South Carolina on Thursday, and is likely to affect millions.
President Donald Trump issued his own warning on Twitter Tuesday, noting that his advisers had just informed him that Florence is likely to be “one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast in many years.”
My people just informed me that this is one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast in many years. Also, looking like a direct hit on North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2018
North and South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland have all declared states of emergency ahead of the mammoth hurricane, which is likely to wreak havoc later this week. The governor of South Carolina, Republican Henry McMaster, has ordered the evacuation of the state’s entire coastline to be evacuated starting at noon on Tuesday, predicting that some 1 million people are set to flee their homes.
I have ordered a full coastal evacuation effective noon tomorrow, Tuesday, September 11. If you are unsure if you are in an evacuation zone please check here: https://t.co/wQkVroaiFJ https://t.co/Qd2ObVxkXn
— Henry McMaster (@henrymcmaster) September 10, 2018
“We are not going to gamble with the lives of the people of South Carolina,” McMaster said of the widespread plans for evacuation, according to the BBC.
In addition, the office of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has predicted “catastrophic inland flooding, high winds and possible widespread power outages”.
Florence, which is currently situated over the Atlantic, has sustained winds of about 140mph (220km/h), with around half a meter of rainfall expected in some areas. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has warned that Florence could reach Category 5 status before it makes landfall around Wilmington, North Carolina. “Some strengthening is expected during the next 36 hours, and Florence is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday,” the NHC warned, as reported by CNN, adding that “there remains high confidence that Florence will be a large and extremely dangerous hurricane, regardless of its exact intensity.”
Here is the latest forecast track and key messages for Hurricane Florence from the @NHC_Atlantic. Florence is maintaining its strength and Hurricane and Storm Surge Watches will likely be issued on Tuesday. #HurricaneFlorence #HurricanePreparedness #HurricanePrep pic.twitter.com/EbMVucjk54
— NWS (@NWS) September 11, 2018
“We are just going to do everything we can here to get everything secure as possible and then give the rest to God and see what happens,” one Wilmington resident told CBN News. Chaotic scenes have been noted in the city’s hardware and grocery stores, as residents frantically stock up on essential supplies to secure their homes and feed their families.
Breaking: A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the east coast of the United States from Edisto Beach, South Carolina, northward to the North Carolina-Virginia border, including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds. Winds are forecasted to be near 130 mph at landfall. #Florence pic.twitter.com/YQDaTGZt5U
— Hurricane Tracker App (@hurrtrackerapp) September 11, 2018
HOW CAN YOU PREPARE FOR HURRICANE FLORENCE?
ABC 8News has detailed the essential items required when riding out a storm of such force. Take note of this critical shopping list:
Water & Food
- At least one gallon of water per person per day for at least 3-5 day
- At least a 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food
- Ready-to-eat canned meat, fruits, vegetables
- Canned juices, powdered milk, soup
- Non-perishable high-energy food: nuts, peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars
- Food for infants and elderly persons
Tools & Supplies
- Cell phone with chargers
- Hand-crank or battery-operated radio
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First-aid kit
- Paper plates, cups and plastic utensils
- Extra cash or travelers cheques, loose change
- Manual can opener, utility knife
- Map of area (for locating shelters or evacuation routes)
- Matches in waterproof container
- Multi-purpose tool
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
- Camera (damage photos)
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Toilet paper, towelettes, soap, hand sanitizer, liquid detergent, feminine supplies
- Personal items, plastic garbage bags and disinfectants
Clothing & Bedding
- Sturdy shoes or work boots
- Rain gear
- Hats, work gloves, sunglasses
- Extra set of clothing
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Formula, diapers, bottles, powdered milk, and medications
Special Items for Adults
- Prescription and non-prescription medication that are regularly used, denture needs, contact lenses, eye glasses, hearing aid batteries
- Keep copies in a waterproof, portable container
- Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
- Passports, Social Security cards, immunization records
- Bank accounts and credit card numbers
- Inventory of valuable household goods
- Family & emergency contact information
- Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
Thousands of residents have been flocking to gas stations to fuel up for the impending evacuation.
HOW BIG IS HURRICANE FLORENCE?
The sheer power of Hurrican Florence is striking fear in the hearts of many residents, and for good reason. This storm is like unique on several different levels, giving it a distinctly beastly nature which some have likened to the devastating 2005 storm, Hurricane Katrina.
“The water is getting warmer, now 85F under the storm, and it’s forecast to be a 145mph storm,” said CNN forecaster Chad Myers. “Even if it loses some strength on the way into land, it’s going to have this massive bubble of water called a storm surge.”
He added: “The same type of surge we see in every land-falling, major hurricane like Katrina, like Hugo, like all of the big storms that push water on shore.”
“It’s a very unusual storm in that you don’t typically see a storm this intense, this far north in latitude,” Marshall Shepherd, director of the University of Georgia’s atmospheric sciences program and former president of the American Meteorological Society, told the Verge. “To put a bow on it, it’s a currently a Category 4 storm moving towards the coastal Carolinas. It has intensified approximately 40 miles per hour over the past 13 hours, which is unbelievable.”
— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) September 10, 2018
Marshall also made a terrifying comparison between Florence and last year’s devastating hurricane, Harvey, which claimed the lives of 82 people and caused billions of dollars worth of damage.
“Unfortunately, it looks like it’s going to have a one-two punch like we saw with Hurricane Harvey in 2017. You’re going to have a major hurricane make landfall and that’s bad enough, but then it looks like, based on what I’m seeing from the models, the storm may stall and literally sit there and spin for a couple of days. That’s a recipe for a flooding disaster, particularly since much of the area that will be impacted is already quite saturated. So I think two to three feet of rainfall is not out of the question if this thing stalls for some parts of the area,” he explained.
Finally got around to checking this out.
— Sam Lillo (@splillo) September 8, 2018
The hurricane expert also noted his concern over a largely overlooked natural disaster risk: landslides.
“In addition to this tremendous amount of flooding, unlike with Harvey, North Carolina has elevation, it has mountains out in its west,” he explained. “And so some of this moisture is certainly going to cause flooding and rainfall out in those regions too, so I’m really concerned about the flooding threat and potentially landslides as well.”
This is going to be a big one. Take as many safety precautions as you possibly can, and ensure that you and your family are well-protected from the elements. Finally, do pray for all those who find themselves in the path of this fierce storm!