As Hurricane Florence continues to make its slow track to South Carolina and the East Coast, officials desperately urged more than 1 million residents to evacuate the storm’s projected landfall as they predict dire conditions.
The National Weather Service said, according to CNN, that the hurricane, which has bounced around between a Category 3 and 4 in recent days, could bring a dangerous storm surge and torrential rains throughout the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states, putting lives at risk.
According to CBS News Wednesday, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said that more than 300,000 had already heeded the warning and evacuated South Carolina’s coast ahead of Florence.
Officials started Tuesday asking residents to get out since tropical storm winds are expected to reach the South Carolina and North Carolina coast as early as Thursday morning, CNN wrote. Those winds could begin to reach hurricane strength, 74 miles per hour and above, by nightfall, the network stated.
According to WSOC-TV Wednesday, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Holden Beach, and Brunswick County all face mandatory evacuations. Mandatory evacuations were issued for the cities of Belville, Leland, Navassa, Oak Island, Southport, and Shallotte. Counties included in the mandatory evacuation included Hyde, Pamlico, and Dare.
“I highly encourage people to move out of the county,” Brunswick County Emergency Management director Brian Watts told WSOC-TV. “The best thing to do is to get out the county.”
In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal has taken note of the storm’s more southern track and has issued a state of emergency for his entire state on Twitter.
Based on the latest 11 a.m. forecast for the southward track of Hurricane Florence after making landfall and acting on a recommendation from @GeorgiaEMA officials, I have issued an emergency declaration for all 159 counties in Georgia. Read more here: https://t.co/FmO4iELdYq— Governor Nathan Deal (@GovernorDeal) September 12, 2018
Tim Terman, who lives in Southport, one of the areas being evacuated, told CNN he has not made up his mind but at the moment is not planning on leaving.
“Once you leave, (it will be) hard to get back in to check on damage,” Terman told CNN Tuesday on why to this point he has decided to ignore the warnings, adding that his home is 20 feet above sea level. “My home is all my wife and I have, materially speaking, a lifetime of stuff.”
Chris and Nicole Roland, who are on North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on vacation from Ohio, said they were trying to wait as long as they could before evacuating, CBS News reported.
“It’s been really nice,” Nicole Roland said, per CBS News. “Also, a little creepy. You feel like you should have already left.”
Duke Energy warned that those who do not evacuate could be left in perilous situations, according to AccuWeather. The energy company stated Wednesday that they expect from 1 to 3 million people to lose power during the hurricane, but will have a staff of 20,000 on board in an attempt to get them back on, per AccuWeather.