Days ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence, governors from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia are already preparing for the worst. Just last week, states of emergency were declared in all there states.
On Monday afternoon, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster issued a mandatory evacuation order for the state’s entire coastline, effective at noon on Tuesday. This order is in effect for about 1 million residents. The eastbound lanes of Interstate 26 U.S. 501 into Myrtle Beach are now reversed, as of 11am Tuesday, meaning that all lanes will be open to evacuees to make the process to head further inland quicker. Since the track of the storm has become more certain, the evacuation order was lifted Tuesday morning for Beaufort, Colleton, and Jasper counties.
Since many of the schools in South Carolina serve as hurricane shelters, schools as well as state offices in 26 counties as far inland as Lexington will be closed as of Tuesday. The last time a category 4 storm struck the state was Hugo in 1989, one of three since 1851.
In North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper has not issued any statewide evacuation orders but instead local officials have. In Dare County, however, which consists of much of the Outer Banks, there is a mandatory evacuation order in effect for the entire county, which consists of over 300-thousand people. The order began at noon on Monday for Hatteras Island while all remaining areas must evacuate beginning at 7am on Tuesday. There is also a mandatory evacuation order for Pamlico and Tyrrell Counties and a voluntary evacuation for Beaufort County. This includes the following beaches: Atlantic, Indian, Emerald Isle, Pine Knoll Shores, Ocracoke, Carolina, Kure, Wrightsville, Topsail, Currituck Outer Banks (visitors), Oak Island (visitors), and Holden (visitors).
Residents across the state as well as Virginia are urged to prepare in advance for the storm and to follow the advice of local officials. Evacuation orders were issued for all of Zone A (blue), the lowest-lying area of Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore, and coastal Virginia. 250,000 people now must evacuate on Tuesday as a result.
President Trump tweeted Monday afternoon that people are encouraged to prepare and that the Federal Government is ready to assist.
The Storms in the Atlantic are very dangerous. We encourage anyone in the path of these storms to prepare themselves and to heed the warnings of State and Local officials. The Federal Government is closely monitoring and ready to assist. We are with you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2018