Hurricane Florence latest forecast could still mean tropical impacts for Middle Georgia

Chris Bailey's Forecast | Florence may impact our weather

Life-threatening storm surges of up to 13 feet (3.9 meters) were also forecast in some areas along with the possibility of tornadoes in North Carolina.

"Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE", he wrote.

The Category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph is expected to produce 20 to 30 inches of rain in the coast North Carolina area, and 5 to 10 inches in western SC and northern North Carolina, per the National Weather Service. "We'll handle it. We're ready, we're able. If you are not under an evacuation order, finish your preparations today".

Parts of Virginia, North Carolina, and SC have issued mandatory evacuation orders, and governors of all three states as well as Maryland have declared states of emergency in the run-up to Florence making landfall.

As Florence closed in for the worst strike on the area in decades, President Donald Trump and state and local officials urged residents in the path of the storm to evacuate before it is too late.

"Protection of life is the absolute highest priority", he added. President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.

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With Hurricane Florence set to wallop the area as a Category 4 hurricane, there are fears the ponds could overflow or even collapse amid extremely heavy rain, sending vast amounts of manure from thousands of farms into rivers and contaminating groundwater.

Forecasters expected some strengthening in the next 36 hours, as Florence marched west-northwest at 20kmh. "It's going to happen".

Officials in New Hanover County, which includes Wilmington, have stockpiled enough food and water for 60,000 people for four days, along with more than 28,000 tarps.

The message from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to residents was bleak. Residents of Beaufort, Colleton and Jasper counties were told they would not need to evacuate with residents on the rest of the coast. "But no matter how bad it's going to be, it will pass and our job will be to rebuild this community together, and that's what we're going to do".

"People are taking down awnings and U-Haul trucks have come in and take the entire contents of stores".

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