Hurricane Florence is barreling toward North Carolina right now, and it’s already wreaking incredible havoc on homes in the southern state.
For the latest radar imagery of the storm’s location, click HERE.
— NWS Eastern Region (@NWSEastern) September 13, 2018
The storm, making landfall as a Category 2 hurricane, is nearing the barrier islands in and around Oak Island, North Carolina, which is under mandatory evacuation orders, though some residents are staying in the area.
WATCH: @marianaatencio reports from Oak Island, NC, where the waves are picking up ahead of Hurricane Florence and many residents have left the barrier island that is under a mandatory evacuation order. pic.twitter.com/LRhkfohK5G
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 13, 2018
So what’s happening?
Hurricane Florence @ midnight 9.13.18
Pungo River is raging across Belhaven, NC
Stay safe y’all! pic.twitter.com/zYbKCKBLnY
— Michelle 🦄 (@chromatichues) September 14, 2018
— Reed Timmer (@ReedTimmerAccu) September 13, 2018
— Jeff Gammons (@StormVisuals) September 13, 2018
Storm surge is the deadliest consequence of hurricanes and we're already seeing some effects from Florence. Watch as an interior wall is ripped off a frame from a beach house near the coastline as captured by our field correspondents. pic.twitter.com/nc5MyC9ckN
— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) September 13, 2018
WOAH: Tim Fitch sent this video to our sister station 13News Now – WVEC of Hurricane Florence creating storm surge waters that are knee deep in spots!
This video was taken on Seabreeze Dr near Rodanthe, NC. pic.twitter.com/hIbkZMpsls
— NBC Charlotte (@wcnc) September 13, 2018
What should we expect?
While many in the Carolinas — particularly in Wilmington, N.C., and Myrtle Beach, S.C. — have already started to feel Hurricane Florence’s impact, the center of the storm is expected to make landfall sometime after 8 p.m. Thursday.
•170 mi ESE of Wilmington, NC
•220 mi E of Myrtle Beach, SC
•10M+ in its path
•1.7M under mandatory/voluntary evacuation
•1,000 flights canceled so far
•5% of NC gas stations w/o gas
•Duke Energy: 1M – 3M homes/businesses to lose power pic.twitter.com/iRci5aEpRy
— Fox News Research (@FoxNewsResearch) September 13, 2018
So far, according to North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, more than 7,000 residents have taken refuge in the 108 hurricane shelters the state has opened for those under mandatory evacuations, according to WTVD-TV.
Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Category 2 storm Wednesday night, leading some to think the impact might be less dangerous. However, the hurricane is still approaching the East Coast with maximum sustained winds around 105 mph and gusts of 125 mph.
Damaging hurricane-force winds are likely along portions of the
coasts of South Carolina and North Carolina as soon as this evening,
and a Hurricane Warning is in effect. Strong winds could also spread
inland into portions of the Carolinas from #Florence. pic.twitter.com/nPHuWc3VfD
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 13, 2018
“Wind speed may have dropped some from yesterday, but we traded that for a larger wind field,” Cooper said Thursday morning, noting the width of potential impact now stretches for 200 miles.
What can you do?
Faith-based charity organizations like Operation Blessing International and Samaritan’s Purse, which is headquartered in North Carolina, are preparing now to aid those who might be impacted by Hurricane Florence.
The Rev. Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse, appeared on Fox News Thursday morning, urging those who are able to volunteer to help with potential rescue and storm relief.
“The hands and the feet that actually are on the ground, that’s gonna be done by volunteers,” he explained. “And again we need an army of them. We need hundreds of them to come help us.”
.@Franklin_Graham on @SamaritansPurse and hurricane recovery: “The hands and the feet that actually are on the ground, that’s gonna be done by volunteers. And again we need an army of them. We need hundreds of them to come help us.” https://t.co/brbzgnVWmy pic.twitter.com/MKAadhuanC
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 13, 2018
Operation Blessing International, based in Virginia Beach, is setting up two staging areas. One will be in Emporia, which the charity said in a press release is “strategically-located west of the coast and is also adjacent to Highway 95, which runs south towards what is anticipated to be the hardest hit areas from Florence.”
The second area will be located in Virginia Beach at the Christian Broadcasting Network headquarters. Both locations will have mobile kitchens capable of making 9,000 hot meals in Emporia and up to 3,000 in Virginia Beach.
Other organizations, like World Help, are also taking donations that will go to those in need as Hurricane Florence makes its way through the Carolinas:
#HurricaneFlorence is projected to strike the Carolinas this week with devastating force.
Those affected will need necessities like food, hygiene items, and bottled water. All it takes is $50 to send emergency supplies to one person in need: https://t.co/s0NLJwcc3U pic.twitter.com/ugKkjSQpg2
— World Help (@world_help) September 13, 2018
Please continue to be in prayer for all those in the path of Hurricane Florence and for the first responders and volunteers positioned to help those who might be hurt by the storm.