More than 1 million people on the south east coast has been ordered to evacuate as Hurricane Florence approach. The mandatory evacuation order is directed to residents in the coastal area in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. It is likely that Carolina will experience hurricane wind gusts as early as Thursday evening.
The hurricane wind will be felt on areas like Raleigh, Piedmont of North Carolina, and Charlotte. The hurricane is expected to cause the coasts of several nearby low lying islands to be flooded. Heavy rain could reach as far inland as the capital of North Caroline, Charlotte. Hurricane Florence will slow when it reaches Carolinas and stall some rain over there. Slow hurricane can also be dangerous especially when it continues to dump heavy rain for many days.
A number of highway routes to the coast, for example, I-26 have been been blocked. Schools, clinics and hospitals will be temporarily closed. Govenor Henry McMaster has issued a mandatory evacuation order in the entire coastline of South Carolina. The evacuation order is to take effect at noon on Tuesday.
Evacuation order is also declared in vacation spots like Hatteras and Outer Banks in North Carolina. Everyone is to leave Dare County as soon as possible. The evacuation order in Virginia takes effect earlier at 8 am on Tuesday. About 245,000 residents in Virginia have responded to the evacuation order.
The National Hurricane Center said that they had already issued hurricane and storm surge watches on selected areas in Carolina that are subjected to dangerous flood level in the next 48 hours. It is expected that the storm will strengthen and upgrade to Category 5 hurricane in as fast as 24-36 hours. Category 5 hurricane is a storm that travel with a sustain wind of 157 mph.
Hurricane Florence has developed quickly into a hurricane by Sunday. On Monday, it turns into a Category 4 hurricane about 1 hour after it was announced that it upgrades to a Category 3 hurricane. The National Hurricane Center said that there will be storm surge on the sea which can lead to freshwater flooding for an extended period. The hurricane is expected to bring heavy rain that lasts for a few days. The hurricane force wind will also bring a lot of damages on the trees, and buildings.
Roy Cooper, the governor of North Carolina encouraged resident to get prepared for the hurricane. Residents and their family members must be educated of the evacuation routes in case the flood suddenly occur and they need to escape to high ground. There will possibly be power outage for an extended time when the hurricane arrive. There are 6 additional counties that have received mandatory evacuation order.