Carolinas coastal residents wait, watch as Florence's fury begins

Carolinas coastal residents wait, watch as Florence's fury begins

The storm fell to a Category 2 Wednesday night, but faced with new forecasts that showed a more southerly threat, Georgia's governor joined his counterparts in Virginia and North and SC in declaring a state of emergency, and some residents who had thought they were safely out of range boarded up their homes.

Duke Energy said Florence, a Category 2 storm, could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for South Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. Industries like tourism and agriculture will likely suffer, and the losses won't be easily or quickly overcome. Many of these factory hog farms store their waste by spraying it on nearby fields and neighborhoods, or by depositing it in lagoons that can overflow during hurricanes, causing the toxic pig manure to pour into nearby waterways. Flooding could prove devastating.

Emergency preparations included activating more than 2,700 National Guard troops, stockpiling food, setting up shelters, switching traffic patterns so major roads led away from shore, and securing 16 nuclear power reactors in the Carolinas and Virginia.

"Hurricane Florence was uninvited but she's just about here anyway", he said at a news conference.

At 2:20 a.m. EDT (0620 UTC) on September 13, 2018 the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite looked at Hurricane Florence in infrared light.

It could have been worse.

As North Carolina residents began to feel the first modest effects of a weakened Hurricane Florence on Thursday, forecasters warned the powerful storm will bring seawater surging onto land and torrential downpours. "Disaster is at the doorstep and it's coming in".

"The ironic thing is, when there's a rebuilding effort, that can energize local economies", Walden said. "We've just never seen anything like this". Hiring is likely to be especially strong in construction and at retailers that sell building materials and supplies.

Hurricane Florence is an nearly impossibly rare threat. Similar declarations were made earlier in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

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Ferry service from North Carolina's Bald Head Island already has stopped.

"Unfortunately, when storms hit is during our fall season", he said. Those pipelines carry fuel from the Gulf Coast to much of the eastern United States. Scientists have also been getting better at making connections between the amount of rainfall dumped during a hurricane with human-induced climate change. Flooding closed refineries along the Texas and Louisiana coasts and caused gasoline prices to spike. The port in Charleston, South Carolina, though, was suspending operations from Thursday through Saturday and possibly on Sunday. The only exception was Edisto Beach - that and other areas to the north remain under evacuation orders. Volvo is coordinating with parts suppliers so it will be ready to resume production, according to Datz, who said he wasn't sure how long the plant would be down. Slower storms mean more rainfall over a smaller area.

Hurricane Florence Wednesday 11 a.m. ET update.

Florence's path remains uncertain. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal followed suit on Wednesday.

But even inland dealerships are bracing for damage.

An intense wave, as well as heavy rains, will announce on Thursday on the coast of Las Carolinas, the arrival of Florence. "It's a big one", he said at the White House.

The hurricane is located about 165 miles (270 km) east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour (165 km per hour), it added. The area is under tropical storm and flash flood watches into the weekend.

"You have a double whammy in the flooding", he said.

Krisher reported from Detroit.

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