Mandatory evacuations ordered for entire SC coastline ahead of Hurricane Florence

Olivia 5-day cone of uncertainty. PC  NOAA  CPHC

Behind Isaac, Hurricane Helene is gaining strength, with wind speeds of over 105 miles per hour (170 kilometres per hour) as of Monday afternoon.

Its effects could be felt far in land, making the challenge of finding safe refuge even tougher.

"North Carolina faces three threats here".

Governor Ralph Northam issued an evacuation order for about 245,000 residents in flood-prone coastal Virginia beginning at 8 a.m. local time while South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has ordered more than 1 million residents along his state's coastline to leave starting at noon on Tuesday.

"This is a real hurricane we have coming", McMaster said Monday.

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Florence could bring a life-threatening coastal storm surge, and inland flooding as far north as Virginia , the NHC said. Hurricane Florence is gaining speed in the Atlantic Ocean and expected to become a major hurricane soon.


"From eight o'clock 'til two we were slammed", said Johnson, who sold scores of bags of sand over the weekend, saving just a few to barricade the store's own doors.

The NHC warned that hurricane force winds may extend 65 kilometers from the center and tropical-storm-force winds may reach 240 kilometers outward.

If Florence makes landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, it will be the strongest storm on record to come ashore in North Carolina.

US President Donald Trump, whose administration was criticized as being slow to respond to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico previous year, canceled a political rally planned for Friday in Jackson, Mississippi, over safety concerns related to Florence, his campaign said.

"People are getting frantic", Assistant Manager Nadine Schrock said, adding her shop also sold out of cases of bottled water. Florence was moving west-northwest at 13 miles per hour and had maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour.

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About an hour after the Category 3 upgrade, the storm was reclassified once again, now as Category 4.

Still closer to Africa than North America, Helen is predicted to head north in the Atlantic and not make landfall, the center says. "Damaging hurricane-force winds are likely along portions of the coasts of SC and North Carolina, and a Hurricane Watch will likely be issued by Tuesday morning". "We are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst", he said.

In Charleston, South Carolina, the Coburg Dairy Cow landmark was removed for safekeeping from its perch atop a sign on Highway 17 on Monday, according to CNN affiliate WCIV.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's office said Florence is already being felt along the state's coast, with large sea swells resulting in life-threatening rip currents and surf. Cotton, corn and soybean fields, along with massive hog and poultry facilities lie in Florence's forecast path.Smithfield Foods Inc., the No. 1 hog producer, and chicken producer Sanderson Farms Inc. saw North Carolina operations disrupted in 2016 in flooding from Hurricane Matthew. "Action today can avoid losses due to Florence".

It's unclear whether Isaac has the potential to make landfall on the USA mainland.

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