Hurricane Florence: Residents urged to rush as ‘unprecedented disaster’ looms

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On a personal level, we echo Barish's advice to err on the side of caution if you're in the storm's path. Stay safe, everyone!

While Hurricane Florence has sparked state of emergency and mass evacuation, a very unfortunate weather graphic has managed to put a smile on those preparing for the storm.

Up to 1.7 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have been given voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders, according to emergency management officials, as the storm churned across the Atlantic Ocean toward the coast.

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warns that a slight shift in Florence's forecast track does not mean that some communities north of the storm are now in the clear.

In Virginia, 245,000 coastal residents were ordered to evacuate. We're fully prepared, food, medical, everything you can imagine, we are ready.

The US National Weather Service says more than 10 million residents in the US states of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia are under a storm watch or warning because of Hurricane Florence.

Typhoon Mangkhut is estimated to have caused $250 million worth of damage to the Phillipines with rice and corn crops bearing the brunt of the storm.

Florence is so wide that a life-threatening storm surge was being pushed 300 miles ahead of its eye, and so wet that a swathe from SC to OH and Pennsylvania could get deluged.

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In a news release Wednesday, Gov. Nathan Deal says the state "is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Florence".

At 11:00 pm (0300 GMT), the eye of the storm was 280 miles (450 km) southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving northwest at 17 mph.

By Saturday, total rainfall could accumulate to 30 inches (76 centimeters) - or even 40 inches in places - in parts of the Carolinas and Virginia, the NHC said.

As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, Florence weakened to a Category 3 storm.

As of Tuesday (Wednesday NZT), about 1.7 million people in North and SC and Virginia were under warnings to evacuate the coast, and hurricane watches and warnings extended across an area with about 5.4 million residents.

Residents along the coast boarded up their homes, lined up at gas stations and emptied supermarket shelves.

Her home in Hillsborough, North Carolina, is at risk for flooding, and her family and nearby relatives will ride out the storm in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Hurricane Isaac is now moving through the western tropical Atlantic Ocean but will likely bring heavy rain and damaging winds to parts of the Lesser Antilles later this week. Cars and trucks full of people and belongings streamed inland.

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