Millions flee east coast of USA as catastrophic hurricane approaches

Virginia Lawmakers Call on Trump to Declare Federal Emergency Ahead of Hurricane Florence

Everyone "from SC into the Mid-Atlantic region should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials", the hurricane center urged ahead of Florence's expected landfall on Thursday or Friday.

Florence remains a Category 4 storm, packing 130 mile-per-hour winds as it gets closer to shore, according to a 2 p.m. update from the U.S. Hurricane Center.

Although the storm's winds will likely diminish rapidly after making landfall, the heavy rain will persist as it stalls over portions of North Carolina and Virginia.

President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.

How much rain? Some areas along the coast could see as much as 15 to 20 inches, plus a life-threatening storm surge will really ramp up the chances of flooding.

NHC forecasts showed the effects of Florence would be widely felt, with tropical storm-force winds extending almost 300 miles across three states. More than 1 million residents have been ordered to evacuate from the coastline of the three states, while university campuses, schools and factories were being shuttered.

Hurricane Florence is still on track for a big impact in the Carolinas, while ME stays dry and seasonably warm.

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In a statement, UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham called it "the sensible decision at this time" with Florence's projected path carrying the storm through the state.

"This increasingly severe, potentially unprecedented storm is hurdling to the epicenter of animal agriculture in North Carolina", said Will Hendrick, a staff attorney and manager for a water campaign in the state for the Waterkeeper Alliance. "The threat will be inland, so I'm afraid, based on my experience at Fema, that the public is probably not as prepared as everybody would like". One power station, Duke Energy Corp's Brunswick plant, the closest to the area where landfall is forecast, faced a likely shutdown as a precaution. A hospital in Hampton, Virginia, was transferring patients to safer places.

Bloomberg reported September 11 that due to Hurricane Florence's threat to the hog-heavy Carolina region October hog futures jumped as much as 2.9 percent on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Monday. East Carolina officials say they had decided the team wouldn't travel to Blacksburg due to "significant imminent safety concerns", including "perilous travel conditions before, during and after the storm".

Trump faced severe criticism for his administration's response to Hurricane Maria a year ago in Puerto Rico. After that point, it would be hard for people in the storm's path to either finish preparations or flee affected areas.

Days before its arrival, Florence was already disrupting commercial operations. Also, it is unlikely the Knights will be able to replace the North Carolina contest with another game as the Knights don't have a true open date. She said her house, built in 2009 in Buxton, North Carolina, is on a ridge and built to withstand a hurricane. Many gasoline stations were running low on fuel. The National Weather Service's Morristown office said Monday that three-to-four inches of rain are possible in upper East Tennessee, around the Tri-Cities, as a result of the hurricane.

"Where else can we go?"

- Where the storm ultimately makes landfall is irrelevant.

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