More Than 1.5 Million Ordered To Evacuate As Hurricane Florence Threatens Carolinas

More Than 1.5 Million Ordered To Evacuate As Hurricane Florence Threatens Carolinas

Florence exploded into a potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane Monday as it closed in on North and SC, carrying winds up to 140 miles per hour (220 kph) and water that could wreak havoc over a wide stretch of the eastern United States later this week.

Residents scrambled to flee en masse as the menacing Category 4 storm packing winds of 220 kilometers per hour bore down on the East Coast of the United States.

Mindful of devastation wrought by a string of deadly USA hurricanes a year ago, residents in the Carolinas began the rituals of disaster preparation - boarding up windows and stocking up on groceries, water and gasoline.

USC Athletics sends its thoughts and prayers to those preparing for the storm and hope that you will be safe and careful during this time.

Florence is forecast to dump up to 40 inches (one meter) of rain in some areas after it makes landfall in North and SC.

"Currently, the bulk of the rain is forecast to occur across eastern North Carolina and some places over 10 inches but if the track slows down or is just to the left then those high rain totals could cover a large portion of southeastern North Carolina versus staying to our north", said Pfaff.

Although the focus on where Hurricane Florence makes landfall is drawing lots of attention, another looming threat could be the worst impact of this monster storm: disastrous, deadly flooding from days of relentless rain.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered as many as one million residents of the state's entire eastern coastline to leave their homes starting at noon on Tuesday.

The athletics department is now monitoring the forecast for Hurricane Florence.

The National Hurricane Center issued hurricane warnings for the Carolinas on Tuesday as millions braced for the strongest storm to hit the region in decades.

"We do not want to risk one SC life in this hurricane", the governor told reporters.

South Carolina Emergency Management will open their emergency shelters on Tuesday based on need.

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By noon on Monday, Florence had top sustained winds of 130mph.

Hurricane Florence underwent a rapid intensification Monday morning, strengthening to category 4 intensity with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour.

Wherever Florence hits, it will nearly certainly disrupt flights - not only at airports along the coast but also inland after the storm moves ashore.

Storm surge and hurricane watches may be issued early Tuesday for portions of southeastern USA states, the NHC said.

"We're talking 12-foot seas stretching 300 miles away from the center", the NHC's Graham said.

"We're seeing that in every ocean basin except the northern Indian Ocean", says Kossin, possibly because climate change is causing the wind currents that hurricanes ride to slow down.

North Carolina's governor declared a state of emergency on Sunday, one day after SC. Its center will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday, then approach the coast of SC or North Carolina.

Hurricane-force winds now extend up to 60 miles from the eye of the storm, and tropical-storm-force winds now extend up to 175 miles from the center of the storm.

The airline issued a travel alert for 23 airports in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia due to Hurricane Florence.

Some 7 million people, primarily in Florida, were asked to flee from Hurricane Irma last September, the largest mass evacuation in US history, easily surpassing the 2.5 million who were ordered to evacuate during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. "We're just a strip of land - we're a barrier island", she said.

The Category 4 storm's approach led to a series of schedule adjustments Tuesday for teams in the Carolinas and Virginia. Two other storms also are churning in the Atlantic.

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