Millions of power outages expected from Hurricane Florence across the Carolinas

Bracing for Hurricane Florence | Don't Miss This

Every coastal city along the Gulf or East Coast of the US is at risk of storm surge, the hurricane center said.

National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear said in a video briefing North Carolina would see the equivalent of up to eight months of rain in a two- to three-day period.

Anxious about how the government will respond to Hurricane Florence's devastation?

The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

He said: We are ready but this is going to be one of the biggest ones to ever hit our country.

Elsewhere in Wilmington, Linda Smith, a 67-year-old retired nonprofit director, was concerned as she watched wind gusts stir up frothy white caps on the Cape Fear River. Protection of life is the absolute highest priority and that's what we are doing. "I am frightened about what's coming".

Hurricane Florence, growing in size despite its weakening winds, churned ever closer to the U.S. East Coast on Wednesday as evacuations expanded south from the Carolinas into Georgia to counter the threat of deadly high seas and calamitous floods.

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The rising sea crept toward the two-story home of Tom Copeland, who lives on a spit of land surrounded by water in Swansboro. The swift-water rescues on Saturday morning were mostly of people who hadn't heeded those orders, said Burgaw Fire Capt.

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Screaming winds bent trees and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday. More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centers were moved out of the storm's path.

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"This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast", said Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Utility officials have warned that widespread power outages are likely and that it could take weeks to restore electricity.

Time is running short to get out of the way of Hurricane Florence, a monster of a storm that has a region of more than 10 million people in its potentially devastating sights as it zeroes in on the Southeastern coast.

Though Florence won't be making landfall until Friday, tropical-storm-force winds - 39 to 73 miles per hour (63 to 117 km/h) - will begin whipping through coastal regions as early as tomorrow, making it exceptionally risky to be outside, Graham said.

Hurricane Florence is forecast to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane when it nears the US coast, while some weakening is expected on Thursday, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its latest advisory on Wednesday. Heavy rains were forecast to extend into the Appalachians, affecting parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.

In South Carolina, governor Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency on Saturday to give his state time to prepare for the possible arrival of a hurricane. "The issue most closely monitored right now is the supply chain".

"This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast", the National Weather Service in Wilmington, North Carolina, wrote on September 11. The two hardware chains said they sent in a total of around 1,100 trucks.

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