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Hurricane Florence evacuations expand, with ‘disaster at doorstep’

13 September 2018

"While some weakening is expected to begin by late Thursday, Florence is still forecast to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane when it nears the USA coast on Friday", the NHC said in an 11 a.m.

Florence's predicted pause and slow southward turn off North Carolina on Friday means some coastal areas will get damaging hurricane-force winds for more than 24 hours.

It is then expected to drift southwest along the shoreline before moving inland on Saturday, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Forecasters worry the storm's damage will be worse if it lingers on the coast.

Life-threatening storm surges of up to 13 feet (3.9 meters) were also forecast in some areas along with the possibility of tornadoes in North Carolina.

Air Canada and Alaska Airlines have canceled their flights in and out of RDU on Thursday, but had not made any announcements about Friday as of 9 p.m. Wednesday.

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With the change in the forecast, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal issued an emergency declaration for the entire state to ease regulations on trucks hauling gasoline and relief supplies, and asked people to pray for those in Florence's path.

Despite the potentially devastating hurricane being downgraded to category two on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, the governor of Georgia has joined his counterparts in Virginia and the Carolinas in declaring a state of emergency.

"If I need to evacuate I can go to my son's house" in North Carolina, Sparks said as he carted a load of water bottles to his vehicle.

Hurricane preparations should be rushed to completion as soon as possible.

Early Thursday Florence was about 235 miles (378 kilometers) east southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina and about 280 miles (450 kilometers) east southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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Hurricane Helene and Tropical Storms Joyce and Isaac are hovering over the Atlantic Ocean while Super Typhoon Mangkhut and Tropical Storm Barijat are lingering over the Pacific Ocean.

Many residents were picked up by relatives, while others were moved to a sister facility in Columbia, S.C., said Lee Young, vice president of operations for the facility's parent company, Holiday Retirement.

"It's been really nice", Nicole Roland said. "This is not going to be a storm that we recover from in days". "Also, a little creepy".

"Marshall Athletics Director Mike Hamrick and I have been in constant contact throughout the week about the game", Tanner said.

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Hurricane Florence evacuations expand, with ‘disaster at doorstep’