(NASA via AP)

NC Issues First-Of-Kind State Evacuation Order

Florence On Its Way As Residents Leave

September 11, 2018 - 2:07 pm
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on Hurricanes Florence 

North Carolina's governor has ordered a mandatory evacuation for the state's barrier islands as Hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast.

Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday that he had issued a first-of-its-kind state evacuation to help prompt residents of the barrier islands, including the Outer Banks, to leave.

Cooper said local governments are typically responsible for issuing evacuation orders in North Carolina, and some localities have already issued orders to evacuate.

But Cooper said he believed Florence will be "so fierce" that the state needs to provide an "added incentive" for people to leave.

Governors in South Carolina and Virginia have also issued mandatory evacuation orders ahead of the storm.

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Meteorologists say they are expecting rainfall from Hurricane Florence to measure in feet, not inches.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Weather Prediction Center forecasts as much as 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain, if not more, for parts of North Carolina. Rain could reach as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) elsewhere in North Carolina, Virginia, parts of Maryland and Washington, D.C.

But one trusted computer model, the European simulation, is predicting more than 45 inches (114 centimeters) of rain in parts of North Carolina, such as New Hanover County, with meteorologists comparing the rainfall to last year's Hurricane Harvey.

A year ago people would have laughed off a forecast of 45 inches of rain, but the European model was accurate in predicting 60 inches (152 centimeters) of rain for Harvey.

University of Miami hurricane expert Brian McNoldy says it is "looking likely" that Florence will unleash feet (meters), not inches (centimeters) of rain.

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President Donald Trump says the federal government is "absolutely, totally prepared" for Hurricane Florence as it heads toward the Eastern Seaboard.

The president briefed reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Tuesday.

Trump has declared states of emergency for North and South Carolina ahead of the Category 4 hurricane, which frees up help from federal agencies.

He has also canceled campaign events Thursday and Friday in anticipation of the storm.