Things to Know About Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence from space

Beach communities in North and SC emptied out on Wednesday as Hurricane Florence threatened to unleash pounding surf and potentially deadly flooding as the most powerful storm to make a direct hit on the southeastern states in decades.

President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that the federal government is "supplied and ready".

Storm Surge will also be a major issue in Myrtle Beach, as it could be up to 6 feet. "In light of the storm's forecasted southward track after making landfall, I encourage Georgians to be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas".

"This is historic. This storm is big and it's vicious", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said.

Loss of power and no access to medical supplies can mean life or death for those who survive the storm, but are stuck in its aftermath.

The threat has sparked a rush of evacuation efforts in SC and North Carolina, with more than a million people urged to get out of Florence's way.

The NHC said Florence's official track forecast could be adjusted further south soon, reflecting increasing pressure from this ridge pushing the storm more toward SC and Georgia. This is due to the fact that packing maximum sustained winds prevail at a speed of 140 miles per hour which is equivalent to 220 km/h.

At 5 a.m., the storm was centered 575 miles (925 km) southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, moving at 17 mph (28 kph). "It's a big one", he said.

The storm surge, or wind-driven seawater, poses a huge danger, FEMA Administrator Brock Long warned on ABC's "Good Morning America".

Byard, the Fema official, said "this storm is not going to be a glancing blow".

The latest meteorological predictions show that Hurricane Florence will have the strongest impact in the Carolinas, particularly in SC.

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The time to prepare for the storm is nearly over, he said.

BJ's Wholesale Club said it was inviting residents from South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia to stock up at their stores without requiring a membership fee, according to Food Dive.

In Charleston, South Carolina, streets were quiet with schools and many offices and businesses closed.

Michael Kennedy, an engineer at Boeing, said he planned to leave on Tuesday for his parents' home in Atlanta, Georgia.

But his partner, Emily Whisler, said she will stay at the university where she is a resident in the psychiatry program. In South Carolina, close to the Georgia line, Beaufort County emergency chief Neil Baxley told residents they need to prepare again for the worst just in case. "I'll be living there for a few days".

With CARTA - Charleston's mass transit system - the county is helping residents get to emergency shelters despite the distance, Rawl said. "Not anxious in the least".

"I will enjoy the quiet", he said.

Like most counties in South Carolina, Charleston County - with a population of almost 400,000 people - uses local schools as shelters for storms.

"This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", the NHC said. Unfortunately, the heavy rainfall is not restricted to coastal Carolina.

The Virginia National Guard is planning to initially bring up to 1,500 soldiers and airmen to offer help in the state's response operations.

For anyone needing a place to stay to escape the hurricane, both North Carolina and SC are updating their lists of emergency shelters. Hurricane Florence may reach a Category 5 storm before it's over.

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