Hurricane Florence threatened to bring "days and days" of life-threatening rain and flooding to the southeastern coast of the United States, the governor of North Carolina warned on Tuesday, as about 1 million people were ordered to evacuate their homes. homes.
The storm threatened to hit the coasts of North Carolina and South Carolina with winds of 215km / h and massive waves when it makes landfall on Friday, and its rains will cost a lot in inland miles, the National Hurricane Center warned. Miami
The storm was getting bigger and better organized and it is expected to continue to strengthen during the next day, the NHC said.
"This storm is a monster," North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper told a news conference on Tuesday.
"It is an extremely dangerous historical hurricane, which endangers life … the forecast shows that Florence is stagnating in North Carolina, bringing days and days of rain."
Cooper and his counterparts in neighboring South Carolina and Virginia ordered about 1 million people to evacuate coastal homes, including along the barrier islands of the Outer Banks. Officials in South Carolina reversed the flow of traffic on some roads, so that all major roads moved away from the sea to accelerate evacuations.
Shelters were established in the area to house those who could not evacuate.
The slow-moving storm, the most severe hurricane that threatened the United States this year, was classified as Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale and located about 845 miles (1,360 km) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina. at 1:30 p.m. EDT (1730 GMT), according to the NHC.
US President Donald Trump signed emergency declarations for North Carolina and South Carolina on Tuesday, releasing federal money and resources for the storm's response. Officials have declared states of emergency in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
In addition to flooding the coast with seawater wind storms of up to 12 feet (3.7 m), Florence could drop 20 inches to 51 centimeters (76 inches) of rain in some places, forecasters said.
& # 39; Planning for devastation & # 39;
"This storm is going to be a direct hit on our coast," said Jeff Byard, associate response and recovery administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "We are planning the devastation."
Not everyone was in a hurry to leave. Charles Mullen, 81, a long-time resident in Hatteras Island, North Carolina, said he had come through many storms and that most locals planned to stay unless Florence pointed to Hatteras.
"If you decide to come here, we're going," he said.
The residents prepared by approaching their homes and stripping the supermarkets of food, water and supplies. Some gas stations also ran out of fuel.
"This is still a very dangerous storm," South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster told a news conference on Tuesday. "We are in a very deadly and important chess game with Hurricane Florence."
McMaster lifted a previous evacuation order for parts of three southern coastal counties, but left them in effect for the state's north coast and urged residents to flee.
Wall Street was sniffing out companies that could win or lose at the hands of the storm. Generator producer Generac Holdings Inc rose 2.2 percent and reached its highest price since April 2014.
Insurers Allstate Corp and Travelers Companies Inc rose slightly after falling sharply on Monday on concerns about loss of claims.
The spokesman for the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission Roger Hannah said that all nuclear power plants in the area were being prepared, but that the Duke Energy Corp plants in North Carolina were more likely to be affected and, if Florence turns to the north, the Surry Energy Inc plant in Virginia.
The plants in the path of the storm close about 12 hours before being reached.