North Carolina is the top US turkey producer, ranks third for chicken and is home to more hogs than any state other than Iowa, government data show.
More than a million people have been ordered to evacuate coastal areas ahead of the arrival of Florence, which boasts sustained winds of 130 miles per hour.
"While some weakening is expected on Thursday, Florence is expected to be an extremely risky major hurricane through landfall".
Meanwhile, the Lesser Antilles are watching Tropical Storm Isaac, which was downgraded from a hurricane earlier Tuesday.
Two other storms are spinning in the Atlantic. The initial damage is likely due come from the high winds and storm surge-high tides carried by the winds--and then by the enormous soaking it will likely leave in both North and SC, as well as Virginia, as it moves slowly inland.
"This storm will produce a tremendous amount of rainfall over a broad area", said Porter, warning some projections are up to 32 inches by the end of the weekend. The Navy, Air Force and Army were moving ships and aircraft out of harm's way.
National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warned that Florence is expected to linger once onshore, downing trees, knocking out electricity and causing widespread flooding. The very centre of Florence's bullseye may be Camp Lejeune, the sprawling Marine Corps training base.More news: European Parliament approves new copyright changes which could lead to upload filters
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Federal officials begged residents to put together emergency kits and have a plan on where to go. "We wish UNC the best of luck through this storm and for the rest of the year".
The current forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls for more than 20 inches of rain where the storm makes landfall. The declaration covers Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. After the storm hits, staff are prepared to inspect the sites by foot, boat, and drone. "It's going to destroy homes", said Jeff Byard, an official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The storm's potential path includes half a dozen nuclear power plants, pits holding coal-ash and other industrial waste, and numerous hog farms that store animal waste in massive open-air lagoons.
The vehicle park has been full for three days at the Ace Hardware store in coastal Calabash, North Carolina, where manager Tom Roberts said he sold 150 gas cans in two hours Monday, along with generators, plywood, rope, manual can openers, sand bags and a plethora of other items.
The governor of neighboring North Carolina ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination, and parts of coastal Dare County.
"All indications are that the storm will slow down and just crawl or meander over the inland sections and the coastal Piedmont", Weather Channel hurricane expert Bryan Norcross said. Her 88-year-old mother refused to evacuate and will stay with her. "One of our biggest challenges is too much rain at the wrong time", McIntosh says.