Georgia Gov. Deal declares state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence

Terence Little
September 13, 2018

Wednesday afternoon's announcement came after a Wednesday morning forecast that predicted a slight southern shift in Florence's path that could increase the impact in the Midlands.

The National Hurricane Center's latest predictions Wednesday had Florence hovering off Southeast shores for more than two days before making landfall near the North Carolina/South Carolina border, perhaps not until Saturday.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is encouraging residents to heed the warnings of state and local officials, and said the lines of communication remain open.

Duke Energy, the nation's No. 2 power company, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks. Nathan Deal issued an emergency declaration for the entire state to ease regulations on trucks hauling gasoline and relief supplies.

The East Coast is bracing for Hurricane Florence as it continues to strengthen. Will the winds be that strong or they'll be stronger when they get here than that?

Handout. / Reuters Three North Carolina Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopters land as part of storm preparation for Hurricane Florence at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. September 12, 2018.

"Hurricane Florence is looking even bigger than anticipated".

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More than 1.7 million people were warned to evacuate and get out of the way of the "life-threatening" storm's path. The entire coastlines of North and SC, in addition to some parts of southeastern Virginia, are under a mandatory evacuation plan.

Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Chris Pennington watched the forecasts and tried to decide when to leave.

A state of emergency has been declared in D.C. and in states, including Virginia and the Carolina's.

Its maximum sustained winds slackened slightly to 125 mph, qualifying it as a Category 3 storm, but its wind field has grown, with hurricane-force winds extending out 70 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds stretching as far as 175 miles from the storm's center.

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

"This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", the hurricane center says.

TRT World's Nicole Johnston is on the coast in Wilmington, North Carolina, where people are preparing for the worst. He cited forecasts showing Florence was likely to stall over North Carolina, "bringing days and days of rain".

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