Hurricane Florence threatens millions on US East Coast

Hurricane Florence threatens millions on US East Coast

Fierce winds and massive waves are expected to lash the coasts of North and SC and Virginia even before Florence makes landfall by early Friday, bringing a storm surge as much as 13 feet (4 meters).

"This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast", said Jeff Byard, the associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The slow-moving storm, with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour, is expected.

The storm, which is building up over the Atlantic, is due to make landfall in either North or SC within the next few days, and is expected to be the worst storm to hit the area in 30 years.

In a news release Wednesday, Gov. Nathan Deal says the state "is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Florence".

Another commenter said: 'That hurricane better be taking me to dinner first'.

People who thought they were safe from the onslaught of Hurricane Florence began boarding up and Georgia's governor declared a state of emergency Wednesday as uncertainty over the path of the monster storm spread worry along the Southeastern coast. They said torrential rains in the mountains could easily cause flash floods, leading to extensive damage.

"Everything is packed", Espinoza said.

Brad Corpening, 35, is planning to ride out Hurricane Florence in his boarded-up delicatessen in Wilmington, North Carolina, and said: "I'm not approaching Florence from fear or panic".

"Took a two hour nap because we just weren't going to make it and we didn't want to come in here dragging", Jamieson said.

The prison, home to nearly 1,000 prisoners and up to 119 staff, was ordered to stay put even during an initial mandatory evacuation for surrounding Jasper County. "Everyone was sold out", she said. A tropical storm watch was also in effect for parts of Virginia.

Enough rain could fall to break North Carolina's record for a tropical storm - 24 inches - set near Wilmington during Hurricane Floyd in 1999, said Greg Carbin, chief of forecast operations at the Weather Service's national prediction center.

Duke Energy, the second-largest energy company in the U.S., said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its four million customers in the Carolinas.

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