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Evacuees Clogging Highways Ahead Of Florence

Storm Approaches People Scatter

September 11, 2018 - 11:20 am
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on Hurricanes Florence

South Carolina's governor has ordered more than a million people living along the state's coast to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Florence.

Gov. Henry McMaster says he's preparing the state for winds as powerful as Hurricane Hugo, which plowed inland nearly 30 years ago and caused devastating damage.

McMaster said on CNN Tuesday that officials are "taking nothing for granted" with Florence predicted to make landfall Thursday. The storm is so huge that South Carolina won't be spared even if it escapes the eye of the hurricane.

The evacuation order becomes mandatory at noon Tuesday, but cameras show traffic already backing up along the main interstate connecting Charleston and Columbia.

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National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham is warning that the "staggering" size of Florence means its impacts will be felt far and wide.

Forecasters say hurricane-force winds extend up to 40 miles (65 kilometers) from the center of Hurricane Florence, and tropical storm-force winds reach up to 150 miles (240 kilometers) from its eye.

That means the hurricane will be dumping rain over multiple East Coast states, and it's not just a coastal problem. With torrential rains in the Appalachian mountains, that water could easily cause flash floods.

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President Donald Trump is canceling a campaign rally in advance of Hurricane Florence's landfall.

His campaign says it's canceling a Thursday event in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where he had been scheduled to stump for the Republican senate candidate, state attorney general Josh Hawley.

The campaign said the event was scuttled out of safety concerns. It was the second rally Trump cancelled this week due to the storm, following a Friday rally slated for Mississippi.

The massive hurricane is closing in on the Carolinas and Virginia.

 

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