'Threat becomes reality': Florence begins days of rain, wind

Trump declares administration ‘completely ready’ for Hurricane Florence

Anna Moneymaker

The Charlotte area will likely begin to feel some tropical storm force winds and gusts from Florence late Thursday night as the outer bands make their way farther inland.

Henry McMaster's message is pretty blunt: If you live in an evacuation zone, hit the road soon. "It's a big one", he said at the White House. On top of that, a disastrous amount of rain - 500mm, possibly even as much as 1m - is expected to fall.

Myrtle Beach was virtually deserted with empty streets, boarded up storefronts and very little traffic.

"There's 25% more people living between Charleston (South Carolina) and Morehead City (North Carolina) than there were when Hugo was making landfall", Myers said. Cooper said he hopes more shelters will also open today. We probably will be getting heavy winds and rain for the next few days.

"So if you're in trouble, you're on your own", Hill added.

In Virginia, 245,000 coastal residents were ordered to evacuate.

"There was no gas yesterday", says Rebecca Segool of Wilmington, N.C. "If we lose the house, oh well, we can get housing". This includes Wilmington. A hurricane watch extends into the Charleston area.

"Simply put, when you have tens of thousands of people that are trying to get out of harm's way and they're all filling up at the same time, certainly it overwhelms how much gasoline can be stored.at gas stations".

"The satellite presentation of Florence has changed little overnight with the eye waxing and waning in infrared imagery", according to the NHC's discussion of the hurricane. The two hardware chains said they sent in a total of around 1,100 trucks.

A woman died from cardiac arrest in the town of Hampstead after emergency responders had their route to her blocked by downed trees, a county official said.

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"It certainly is a challenge forecasting precise impacts when its exact track won't be known until a day in advance", Landsea said: There's "a huge difference" in the size and type of damage Florence inflicts if it stays 50 miles (80 kilometers) off shore versus heading inland immediately.

This same zone will be hammered by winds gusting up to hurricane force for almost a day while tropical-storm conditions could linger twice that long.

"We have created a rumor control page for Hurricane Florence that will be updated regularly".

Some airports are already closed, others may cease operations Thursday, and American and other airlines are moving their planes to higher and drier ground.

"There has been some strong upper level winds that have disrupted a lot of the storms that have developing on that side of it".

Instead of pushing directly towards states like West Virgina, Kentucky, or IN (following a generally northwest track from its initial landfall), Florence may now stall out on top of SC before moving west or southwest towards Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.

A state of emergency has been declared in five coastal states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia and the U.S. capital Washington.

A flight-tracking service says about 1,200 US airline flights scheduled for Thursday or Friday have been canceled, with some airports in the Carolinas essentially shut down.

The Carolinas will likely bear the brunt of Florence's wrath.

Family members, like other residents, expect to be bombarded with torrential rain possibly for days. It's already been raining in these areas and the ground is sodden.

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