The latest computer forecasts from Tuesday afternoon have predicted that Hurricane Florence, still a Category 4 yet growing larger and more powerful, may shift and hit somewhere near the border between North and South Carolina as coastal residents flee what may be the most powerful hurricane to hit the state in 64 years, according to Bloomberg.
"Florence is expected to stall and wander near or over the coast for as many as four days, dumping prodigious amounts of rain," said meteorologist Jeff Masters of Weather Underground, who added "If a significant portion of the storm’s circulation remains over water, as occurred last year with Hurricane Harvey’s stall over Southeast Texas — or even if Florence were to move into the higher terrain of western North Carolina and then stall — the rain may break all-time state records for rainfall from a hurricane or tropical storm."
"It's really a dicey forecast right now," says National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Emlaw.
Landfall is expected late Thursday or early Friday, while mandatory evacuations are in place in preparation for a 12-foot storm surge which could affect over 750,000 homes, according to property analytics firm CoreLogic, while causing up to $27 billion in damages.
President Trump, meanwhile said he expects Hurricane Florence to be among the worst storms ever to strike the US, but that the federal government is prepared to respond to the disaster.
"We’re as ready as anybody’s ever been," Trump told White House reporters during a Tuesday briefing with officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"It’s going to be a very large one," said Trump, adding "It’s tremendously big and tremendously wet."
WH/ABC: Pres. Trump approves Virginia emergency declaration ahead of Hurricane Florence landfall pic.twitter.com/mb8MZbUYZ3— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) September 11, 2018
According to a 2 p.m. update from the US Hurricane Center, Florence - packing 130 MPH winds, iws expected to be the worst storm in the region since Hurricane Hazel made landfall near the North/South Carolina border in 1954.
The storm currently sits approximately 840 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, NC.
Time-lapse video of a #NOAA WP-3D Hurricane Hunter (#NOAA42) flight into Hurricane #Florence on Sept. 10, 2018. Get the latest on the storm at https://t.co/MlZk25kG0d. Credit: Nick Underwood/NOAA pic.twitter.com/FQ3RJMKVUU— NOAA Aircraft Operations Center (@NOAA_HurrHunter) September 11, 2018
- Charge any device that provides light. Laptops, tablets, cameras, video cameras, and old phones. Old cell phones can still be used for dialing 911. Charge external battery back ups (power banks).
- Wash all trash cans, big and small, and fill with water for flushing toilets. Line outdoor trash cans with trash bags, fill with water and store in the garage. Water in trash bags should not be used to bathe or drink. Bags contain chemicals to suppress insect and odor. Use for toilet flushing purposes only.
- Fill every tub and sink with water. Cover sinks with Saran Wrap to keep it from collecting dust. Fill washing machine and leave lid up to store water.
- Fill old empty water bottles and other containers with water and keep near sinks for washing hands.
- Fill every Tupperware with water and store in freezer. These will help keep food cold longer and serve as a back up water supply.
- Fill drinking cups with water and cover with Saran Wrap. Store as many as possible in fridge. The rest you can store on the counter and use first before any water bottles are opened. Ice is impossible to find after the storm.
- Reserve fridge space for storing tap water and keep the sealed water bottles on the counter.
- Cook any meats in advance and other perishable foods. You can freeze cooked food. Hard boil eggs for snacks for first day without power.
- Be well hydrated before the storm hits and avoid salty foods that make you dehydrated.
- Wash all dirty clothes and bed sheets. Anything dirty will smell without the A/C, you may need the items, and with no A/C, you'll be sweating a lot. You're going to want clean sheets.
- Toss out any expiring food, clean cat litter boxes, empty all trash cans in the house, including bathrooms. Remove anything that will cause an odor when the A/C is off. If you don't have a trash day pickup before the storm, find a dumpster.
- Bring in any yard decor, secure anything that will fly around, secure gates, bring in hoses, potted plants, etc. Bring in patio furniture and grills.
- Clean your environment so you have clear, easy escape routes. Even if that means temporarily moving furniture to one area.
- Scrub all bathrooms so you are starting with a clean odor free environment. Store water filled trash cans next to each toilet for flushing.
- Place everything you own that is important and necessary in a backpack or small file box that is easy to grab. Include your wallet with ID, phone, hand sanitizer, snacks, etc. Get plastic sleeves for important documents.
- Make sure you have cash on hand.
- Stock up on pet food and fill up bowls of water for pets.
- Refill any medications. Most insurance companies allow for 2 emergency refills per year.
- Fill your propane tanks. You can heat soup cans, boil water, make coffee, and other stuff besides just grilling meat. Get an extra, if possible.
- Drop your A/C in advance and lower temperatures in your fridges.
- Gather all candles, flashlights, lighters, matches, batteries, first aid kit and other items and keep them accessible.
- Clean all counters in advance. Start with a clean surface. Buy Clorox Wipes for cleaning when there is no power. Mop your floors and vacuum. If power is out for 10 days, you'll have to live in the mess you started with.
- Pick your emergency safe place such as a closet under the stairs. Store the items you'll need in that location for the brunt of the storm. Make a hand fan for when the power is out.
- Shower just before the storm is scheduled to hit.
- Keep baby wipes next to each toilet. Don't flush them. It's not the time to risk clogging your toilet!
- Run your dishwasher, don't risk having dirty smelly dishes and you need every container for water! Remember you'll need clean water for brushing your teeth, washing yourself, and cleaning your hands.
- Pack a small suitcase and keep it in your car in case you decide to evacuate. Also put at least one jug of water in your car. It will still be there if you don't evacuate. You don't need to store all water in the house. Remember to pack for pets as well.
- Check on all family members, set up emergency back up plans, and check on elderly neighbors.
- Pets are family too. Take them with you.
- Before the storm, unplug all electronics. There will be power surges during and after the storm.
- Cover televisions, computer monitors and other electronic devices with trash bags in case windows break and expose the interior of the house to the elements.
- Cover windows with plywood from the outside.
- Gas up your car and have a spare gas container for your generator or your car when you run out.
- Touch base with neighbors prior to the storm to determine if they are ready and capable to weather the storm. Building relationships with neighbors also comes in handy if you need to borrow a chainsaw or need extra hands to clear debris.
Just a reminder to those on the east coast who may be effected by Hurricane Florence & may need to evacuate 🙃 this goes for all pets! Pets might just be part of your world, but to them...YOU are their ENTIRE world. Don’t leave them behind. pic.twitter.com/UGDDrd52U7— Alyssa Hannah (@anhannah_) September 10, 2018