More than 5 million residents are under hurricane warning

At least 25 million residents on the East Coast are at risk from Hurricane Florence, which is expected to deliver a "direct hit". this week

At least 25 million residents on the East Coast are at risk from Hurricane Florence, which is expected to deliver a "direct hit". this week, with winds of 157 mph, devastating floods and even the threat of a contaminated water supply.

The & # 39; threat of life & # 39; It has caused massive evacuations with up to 1.5 million people warned to seek refuge from the potentially catastrophic storm, while five million are under direct hurricane warning.

The CNN meteorologist said that more than 25 million people are in the "forecast cone" of the storm, although strong winds and floods could affect even more people.

"This will probably be the storm of your life in parts of the Carolina coast," said the National Weather Service.

Florence rose to a Category 4 hurricane on Tuesday and was packing lethal winds of 130 miles per hour, but is expected to strengthen and become "an extremely dangerous major hurricane" on Thursday night before making landfall.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said the greatest danger was storm surge: a wall of seawater that could reach 20 feet in height. Some areas could be flooded with 20 inches of rain.

At least 25 million residents on the East Coast are at risk from Hurricane Florence, which is expected to deliver a "direct hit". this week

At least 25 million residents on the East Coast are at risk from Hurricane Florence, which is expected to deliver a "direct hit". this week

People evacuate before the expected arrival of Hurricane Florence while seeking refuge at Emma B. Trask Middle School in Wilmington, North Carolina, USA. UU

People evacuate before the expected arrival of Hurricane Florence while seeking refuge at Emma B. Trask Middle School in Wilmington, North Carolina, USA. UU

People evacuate before the expected arrival of Hurricane Florence while seeking refuge at Emma B. Trask Middle School in Wilmington, North Carolina, USA. UU

Chuck Ledford (L), watches Looney-Tunes with his daughter Misty while they evacuate before the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Florence

Chuck Ledford (L), watches Looney-Tunes with his daughter Misty while they evacuate before the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Florence

Chuck Ledford (L), watches Looney-Tunes with his daughter Misty as they evacuate before the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Florence while seeking refuge at Emma B. Trask Middle School in Wilmington,

The category four storm could be the strongest to hit the coast of Carolina since Hurricane Hugo in 1989

The category four storm could be the strongest to hit the coast of Carolina since Hurricane Hugo in 1989

The category four storm could be the strongest to hit the coast of Carolina since Hurricane Hugo in 1989

The & # 39; threat to life & # 39; It has triggered massive evacuations with up to 1.5 million people warned to seek refuge from the potentially catastrophic storm, while five million are under direct hurricane warning.

The & # 39; threat to life & # 39; It has triggered massive evacuations with up to 1.5 million people warned to seek refuge from the potentially catastrophic storm, while five million are under direct hurricane warning.

The & # 39; threat to life & # 39; It has triggered massive evacuations with up to 1.5 million people warned to seek refuge from the potentially catastrophic storm, while five million are under direct hurricane warning.

"The storm surge has the greatest potential to kill as many people as possible," FEMA administrator Brock Long told CNN. "It also has the greatest potential to cause the greatest destruction."

FEMA said Florence is the strongest storm that hit the Carolinas and Virginia region in decades & # 39;

"We can not emphasize the importance to our citizens that they are evading local and state warnings," FEMA's Jeffrey Byard said at a news conference.

"Hurricane Florence is the strongest storm to attack the Carolinas and this part of our country in decades."

Byard said they are preparing for "massive damage", power outages and even deaths.

"This storm will have the potential to cause the loss of lives and we can not emphasize the importance of acting now," Byard said.

On Tuesday night, the storm was about 350 miles southwest of Bermuda and is moving northwest, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Allison Violette, a resident of Fayetteville, North Carolina, told NBC that she and her husband were moving all their belongings to the second floor of their home in preparation for the hurricane.

She said they had learned the lesson after Hurricane Matthew flooded the house in 2016.

At least 25 million residents on the East Coast are at risk from Hurricane Florence, which is expected to deliver a "direct hit". this week

At least 25 million residents on the East Coast are at risk from Hurricane Florence, which is expected to deliver a "direct hit". this week

At least 25 million residents on the East Coast are at risk from Hurricane Florence, which is expected to deliver a "direct hit". this week

"It's devastating to go into your house and see it flooded and lose everything, and to think that it can happen again, just not, I just do not want to have that, and then, whatever I can keep that is meaningful to us, I want to keep it." He said.

& # 39; I do not know if we would want to do that again, and experience it. It's just a change of life, "said her husband Cal Violette.

Pig farmers along the east coast are also struggling to drain their pools before the storm. Pig farms have open "lagoons" full of manure, which turn pink due to the bacteria that rot in the lagoons.

If the rivers break their banks, or the lagoons overflow, affecting the local waterways, which could damage the local environment and endanger the sources of drinking water and public health.

Floods could also kill thousands of animals if they can not be evacuated in time.

Marlowe Vaughan of Ivy Spring Creek Farm in Goldsboro, has spent most of the day pumping liquid waste from its lagoons to make more space for incoming rain.

"We try to pump everything we can, but after that, it's in the hands of God, we're at the mercy of the storm."

On Tuesday, motorists moved inland on freeways turned into one-way routes and supermarket shelves were left unprotected when more than a million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia were ordered to flee their homes. houses while the hurricane crosses the Atlantic Ocean towards the coast.

The Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., is preparing to evacuate to the Logistics Base of the Albanian Marine Corps following an evacuation order led by Brig. Gen. James Glynn, commanding general of the deposit, Tuesday

The Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., is preparing to evacuate to the Logistics Base of the Albanian Marine Corps following an evacuation order led by Brig. Gen. James Glynn, commanding general of the deposit, Tuesday

The Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., is preparing to evacuate to the Logistics Base of the Albanian Marine Corps following an evacuation order led by Brig. Gen. James Glynn, commanding general of the deposit, Tuesday

Dorothy Pope, 78, and sister Clydie Gardner, 71, settle into the house they share in Princeville, North Carolina, after a normal grocery shopping on Tuesday. They are watching the storm but have no plans to leave unless they are threatened by the floods

Dorothy Pope, 78, and sister Clydie Gardner, 71, settle into the house they share in Princeville, North Carolina, after a normal grocery shopping on Tuesday. They are watching the storm but have no plans to leave unless they are threatened by the floods

Dorothy Pope, 78, and sister Clydie Gardner, 71, settle into the house they share in Princeville, North Carolina, after a normal grocery shopping on Tuesday. They are watching the storm but have no plans to leave unless they are threatened by the floods

The store's bread racks are empty as people stock up on food in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on Tuesday before the arrival of Hurricane Florence

The store's bread racks are empty as people stock up on food in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on Tuesday before the arrival of Hurricane Florence

The store's bread racks are empty as people stock up on food in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on Tuesday before the arrival of Hurricane Florence

People drive over a drawbridge in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., as they evacuate the area before Hurricane Florence

People drive over a drawbridge in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., as they evacuate the area before Hurricane Florence

People drive over a drawbridge in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., as they evacuate the area before Hurricane Florence

More than 1.5 million people were ordered to evacuate their homes in preparation. Vehicles lined with heavy traffic (up) in Wallace, North Carolina on Tuesday

More than 1.5 million people were ordered to evacuate their homes in preparation. Vehicles lined with heavy traffic (up) in Wallace, North Carolina on Tuesday

More than 1.5 million people were ordered to evacuate their homes in preparation. Vehicles lined with heavy traffic (up) in Wallace, North Carolina on Tuesday

Rob Quinn climbs aboard the Lagerheads Tavern in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, after 300,000 people were ordered to evacuate the coastal areas of the state

Rob Quinn climbs aboard the Lagerheads Tavern in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, after 300,000 people were ordered to evacuate the coastal areas of the state

Rob Quinn climbs aboard the Lagerheads Tavern in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, after 300,000 people were ordered to evacuate the coastal areas of the state

Walker Townsend (right) and Dalton Trout (center) fill sandbags on the island of Palms, South Carolina, on Monday, while ordering the entire state coastline to prepare for mandatory evacuations.

Walker Townsend (right) and Dalton Trout (center) fill sandbags on the island of Palms, South Carolina, on Monday, while ordering the entire state coastline to prepare for mandatory evacuations.

Walker Townsend (right) and Dalton Trout (center) fill sandbags on the island of Palms, South Carolina, on Monday, while ordering the entire state coastline to prepare for mandatory evacuations.

Don Parrish, on vacation with his wife Barbara, of Finely Ohio, talks about his plans to overcome Hurricane Florence in his vacation rental at Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on September 11

Don Parrish, on vacation with his wife Barbara, of Finely Ohio, talks about his plans to overcome Hurricane Florence in his vacation rental at Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on September 11

Don Parrish, on vacation with his wife Barbara, of Finely Ohio, talks about his plans to overcome Hurricane Florence in his vacation rental at Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on September 11

"This storm is going to be a direct hit," Byard added.

Meteorologists and politicians pleaded with the public to take the warnings seriously and did not notice in words when describing the threat of what could become one of the most catastrophic hurricanes to hit the eastern seaboard in decades.

Hurricane Florence is expected to strengthen to Category 5 status this week, with more than 1.5 million people ordered to evacuate as the powerful storm barrels toward North and South Carolina

Despite the evacuation order, the South Carolina Department of Corrections decided not to remove the inmates at the Ridgeland Correctional Institution.

SCDC spokesman Dexter Lee said: "In the past, it has been safer to leave them there."

& # 39; This storm is a monster. It is big and it is vicious. It is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening historic hurricane, "said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.

"The waves and the wind that this storm can bring is not like anything you've seen." Even if you've had storms before, this one is different. Do not bet your life to ride a monster.

The governor of South Carolina Henry McMaster, who issued a mandatory medical evacuation of 177 hospitals and medical centers in his state, said: "We know that the evacuation order I am issuing will be inconvenient.

"But we will not play with the lives of the people of South Carolina." No one ".

The sailors throw mooring lines to the hospital ship Command USNS Comfort while the ship evacuates the Norfolk Naval Station in preparation for Hurricane Florence in Norfolk, Virginia.

The sailors throw mooring lines to the hospital ship Command USNS Comfort while the ship evacuates the Norfolk Naval Station in preparation for Hurricane Florence in Norfolk, Virginia.

The sailors throw mooring lines to the hospital ship Command USNS Comfort while the ship evacuates the Norfolk Naval Station in preparation for Hurricane Florence in Norfolk, Virginia.

Anticipating the arrival of Hurricane Florence, the sailors from the Helicopter Maritime Combat Squadron (HSC) 28 prepare MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopters to evacuate the Norfolk Naval Station to ensure the safety of personnel and prevent damage to Navy assets on the 11th. of September

Anticipating the arrival of Hurricane Florence, the sailors from the Helicopter Maritime Combat Squadron (HSC) 28 prepare MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopters to evacuate the Norfolk Naval Station to ensure the safety of personnel and prevent damage to Navy assets on the 11th. of September

Anticipating the arrival of Hurricane Florence, the sailors from the Helicopter Maritime Combat Squadron (HSC) 28 prepare MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopters to evacuate the Norfolk Naval Station to ensure the safety of personnel and prevent damage to Navy assets on the 11th. of September

Greg Cook takes belongings to a truck while evacuating days before the arrival of Hurricane Florence to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on September 11

Greg Cook takes belongings to a truck while evacuating days before the arrival of Hurricane Florence to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on September 11

Greg Cook takes belongings to a truck while evacuating days before the arrival of Hurricane Florence to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on September 11

Redix employees board the front windows of the store in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., Tuesday, September 11.

Redix employees board the front windows of the store in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., Tuesday, September 11.

Redix employees board the front windows of the store in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., Tuesday, September 11.

People evacuate before the expected arrival of Hurricane Florence while seeking refuge at Emma B. Trask Middle School in Wilmington, North Carolina.

People evacuate before the expected arrival of Hurricane Florence while seeking refuge at Emma B. Trask Middle School in Wilmington, North Carolina.

People evacuate before the expected arrival of Hurricane Florence while seeking refuge at Emma B. Trask Middle School in Wilmington, North Carolina.

People evacuate before the expected arrival of Hurricane Florence while seeking refuge at Emma B. Trask Middle School in Wilmington, North Carolina.

People evacuate before the expected arrival of Hurricane Florence while seeking refuge at Emma B. Trask Middle School in Wilmington, North Carolina.

People evacuate before the expected arrival of Hurricane Florence while seeking refuge at Emma B. Trask Middle School in Wilmington, North Carolina.

A Walmart in the bush. Pleasant, S.C., is closed and closed, after Governor Henry McMaster ordered a mandatory evacuation

A Walmart in the bush. Pleasant, S.C., is closed and closed, after Governor Henry McMaster ordered a mandatory evacuation

A Walmart in the bush. Pleasant, S.C., is closed and closed, after Governor Henry McMaster ordered a mandatory evacuation

Several interstate highways will be closed as of Wednesday, as will state offices, including the University of South Carolina, and schools in 26 counties in the eastern part of the state. Some schools will be used as evacuation shelters, officials said Monday.

"We do not want children at school to be in danger," McMaster told The State. We know that you will reach a place where you will have a dramatic impact in South Carolina. We're going to get a lot of water that we have not seen at some time. "

McMaster previously issued a mandatory medical evacuation of 177 hospitals and medical facilities, including nursing homes, in the eight coastal counties.

North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have ordered massive evacuations along the coast after declaring states of emergency.

Virginia issued a mandatory evacuation order for about 245,000 residents in coastal areas prone to flooding from 8 a. M.

At least 250,000 more people were due to be evacuated from the North Outer Banks in North Carolina on Tuesday after more than 50,000 people were ordered to leave Hatteras and Ocracoke, the southernmost barrier island in the state.

Getting out of danger could be difficult and officials are already predicting that the financial cost could reach $ 30 billion.

Sandbags sit on the doors as water floods out of the buildings in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia on September 11

Sandbags sit on the doors as water floods out of the buildings in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia on September 11

Sandbags sit on the doors as water floods out of the buildings in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia on September 11

People cross the street as water floods out of buildings in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, on September 11, where more than one million people were under evacuation orders in the eastern United States on Tuesday.

People cross the street as water floods out of buildings in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, on September 11, where more than one million people were under evacuation orders in the eastern United States on Tuesday.

People cross the street as water floods out of buildings in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, on September 11, where more than one million people were under evacuation orders in the eastern United States on Tuesday.

Florence is so wide that a life-threatening storm wave was being pushed 300 miles in front of her eye, and so wet that a swath of states from South Carolina to Ohio and Pennsylvania could be flooded.

People throughout the region rushed to buy bottled water and other supplies, board their homes or leave the city.

A line of heavy traffic moved away from the coast on Interstate 40, the main route between the port city of Wilmington and the interior of Raleigh.

Between the two cities, with an interval of approximately two hours, the traffic flowed smoothly in some places and was paralyzed in others due to the mudguards.

Only a trickle of vehicles was going in the opposite direction, including trucks carrying plywood and other construction materials. Service stations began to run out of fuel to the west of Raleigh, with bright yellow bags, signs or rags placed on the pumps to show they were out of service.

Florence could hit the Carolinas stronger than any hurricane since Hazel packed 130 mph winds in 1954. That Category 4 storm destroyed 15,000 buildings and 19 people in North Carolina. In the six decades since then, thousands of people have moved to the coast.

Bombs at the Shell gas station on Western Boulevard showed "lack of fuel" signs as people prepared to leave at Hurric, on September 11, 2018, in Raleigh, North Carolina (Photo by Casey Toth / Raleigh News & Observer / TNS / Sipa USA)

Bombs at the Shell gas station on Western Boulevard showed "lack of fuel" signs as people prepared to leave at Hurric, on September 11, 2018, in Raleigh, North Carolina (Photo by Casey Toth / Raleigh News & Observer / TNS / Sipa USA)

Bombs at the Shell service station on Western Boulevard showed signs of "lack of fuel" as people prepared to face Hurricane Florence on Tuesday

A service station in Mt. Pleasant S.C alerts the motorist who has run out of gas due to the high demand caused by hurricane Florence

A service station in Mt. Pleasant S.C alerts the motorist who has run out of gas due to the high demand caused by hurricane Florence

A service station in Mt. Pleasant S.C alerts the motorist who has run out of gas due to the high demand caused by hurricane Florence

Tarek Elshik, on the left, fills cans of gasoline to power a generator that cools insulin for the treatment of type 1 diabetes in 10-year-old daughter Yasmeen Elshik, in the event of a power failure during Hurricane Florence

Tarek Elshik, on the left, fills cans of gasoline to power a generator that cools insulin for the treatment of type 1 diabetes in 10-year-old daughter Yasmeen Elshik, in the event of a power failure during Hurricane Florence

Tarek Elshik, on the left, fills cans of gasoline to power a generator that cools insulin for the treatment of type 1 diabetes in 10-year-old daughter Yasmeen Elshik, in the event of a power failure during Hurricane Florence

Food Lion employee, Greg Partin, helps a customer get into his car on Monday, September 10, 2018 at the Woodcroft Mall in Durham, N.C.

Food Lion employee, Greg Partin, helps a customer get into his car on Monday, September 10, 2018 at the Woodcroft Mall in Durham, N.C.

Food Lion employee, Greg Partin, helps a customer get into his car on Monday, September 10, 2018 at the Woodcroft Mall in Durham, N.C.

Wooden boards and cardboard boxes block the entrance to a Walmart store in Kill Devil Hills on the North Carolina Outer Banks on September 11

Wooden boards and cardboard boxes block the entrance to a Walmart store in Kill Devil Hills on the North Carolina Outer Banks on September 11

Wooden boards and cardboard boxes block the entrance to a Walmart store in Kill Devil Hills on the North Carolina Outer Banks on September 11

A man uses a drill to install storm shutters in a house in Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on September 11

A man uses a drill to install storm shutters in a house in Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on September 11

A man uses a drill to install storm shutters in a house in Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on September 11

The first effects of the storm were already evident in the barrier islands when the dangerous currents of surf hit the beaches and the sea water flows on a state highway, the precursor of a storm surge that could devastate the dunes and submerge entire communities.

Authorities warned of waves of life-threatening coastal storms and the possibility of Florence triggering prolonged torrential rains and widespread flooding, especially if it stays inside for several days.

The director of the National Hurricane Center, Ken Graham, warned of "staggering" amounts of rain that can extend hundreds of miles inland and cause flash floods in the mid-Atlantic region.

"This really scares me," Graham said.

Forecasts expect between 10 and 15 inches of rain in the most affected areas, possibly more if the storm stagnates on the ground, as expected.

Aware of the devastation caused by a series of lethal hurricanes in the United States last year, residents in the Carolinas began disaster preparedness rituals: covering windows and buying groceries, water and gasoline.

The US Army UU He said he would send advanced equipment to Raleigh, North Carolina, to coordinate with federal and state partners. The US Navy UU He also ordered that 30 warships go out to sea from their port at the Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia.

For many people, the challenge might be to find a safe haven: if Florence stops slowly along the coast, it could bring torrential rains to the Appalachian mountains and even West Virginia, causing flash floods, landslides and other dangerous conditions in Places that do not normally receive much tropical climate.

This is going to produce heavy rain, and it may not move very fast. The threat will be inland, so I'm afraid, based on my experience at FEMA, that the public is probably not as prepared as everyone would like, "said Craig Fugate, a former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The potential path of the storm also includes half a dozen nuclear power plants, wells containing coal ash and other industrial waste, and numerous pig farms that store animal waste in massive open-air lagoons.

Airlines, including American, Southwest, Delta and JetBlue, have begun allowing affected passengers to change their travel plans without the usual rates.

Amtrak trains are also canceled or are subject to schedule modifications from Wednesday to Sunday. The company is also waiving charges for reserve changes.

A warm ocean is the fuel that fuels hurricanes, and this area of ​​the ocean is reaching temperatures near 85 degrees (30 degrees Celsius), wrote hurricane expert Eric Blake. And with little cutting wind to separate the storm, Florence's hurricane winds expanded.

"Unfortunately, the models were right, Florence has intensified rapidly in an extremely dangerous hurricane," Blake wrote late Monday, predicting that the hurricane's maximum sustained winds would approach the 157 mph threshold for a Category 5 scenario. of wost-case.

The forecast for Tuesday morning is still compatible with this, said the National Hurricane Center.

At 5 am. On Tuesday, Florence was about 975 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and was moving west-northwest at 15 mph. Its center will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and will approach the coast of South Carolina or North Carolina on Thursday.

Russell Meadows, left, helps neighbor Rob Muller go home before Hurricane Florence in Morehead City, N.C.

Russell Meadows, left, helps neighbor Rob Muller go home before Hurricane Florence in Morehead City, N.C.

Russell Meadows, left, helps neighbor Rob Muller go home before Hurricane Florence in Morehead City, N.C.

Larry Lynch selects a can of Armor Vienna Bites while shopping in preparation for Hurricane Florence on Tuesday

Larry Lynch selects a can of Armor Vienna Bites while shopping in preparation for Hurricane Florence on Tuesday

Larry Lynch selects a can of Armor Vienna Bites while shopping in preparation for Hurricane Florence on Tuesday

Irene McNeil selects canned vegetables while shopping in preparation for Hurricane Florence

Irene McNeil selects canned vegetables while shopping in preparation for Hurricane Florence

Irene McNeil selects canned vegetables while shopping in preparation for Hurricane Florence

A treasure hunter uses his metal detector on the beach in front of the waves before hurricane Florence reaches land

A treasure hunter uses his metal detector on the beach in front of the waves before hurricane Florence reaches land

A treasure hunter uses his metal detector on the beach in front of the waves before hurricane Florence reaches land

Two other storms were turning in the Atlantic. Hurricane Isaac was expected to lose steam on reaching the Caribbean, and Helene, much farther to the sea, may drift into the open sea as the 2018 hurricane season reaches its peak.

In the Pacific, Hurricane Olivia triggered warnings on multiple Hawaiian islands, which blew westward and expected to reach the state as late as Tuesday or early Wednesday.

"Prepare, be careful and be SAFE!" President Donald Trump tweeted Monday night.

He added on Tuesday that it would be "tremendously large and tremendously humid."

"The safety of Americans is my absolute top priority, we do not save any expenses, we are fully prepared, we are ready, we are as prepared as anyone," said Trump.

The places that are on the road and in the greatest danger would be Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, that area. They have not seen anything like what comes to us in 25, 30 years, maybe never. It's tremendously large and tremendously wet, "he added." Tremendous amounts of water. "

Just a few months ago, disaster planners simulated a Category 4 hurricane attack alarmingly similar to the actual scenario that is unfolding on a dangerously vulnerable stretch of the East Coast.

A & # 39; Hurricane Cora & # 39; fictitious arrived in southeastern Virginia and climbed the Chesapeake Bay to attack Washington, DC, in the narrative created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Argonne National Laboratory.

The result was catastrophic damage, which has worried some experts that Hurricane Florence could produce a disaster comparable to that of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and in a part of the country that is famous for its difficult evacuation.

The simulated hurricane knocked out power for most service stations in the Mid-Atlantic region, damaged a nuclear power plant and sent waste to major shipping channels, among other problems, according to a Department of Energy simulation manual .

"What they were trying to do was create the worst possible scenario, but it's a very realistic scenario," said Joshua Behr, a research professor at Old Dominion University in Virginia, who is involved in simulations and disaster models.

Senior White House leaders, along with more than 91 federal departments and agencies, participated in the "nationwide exercise" in late April and early May, FEMA said.

The president of EE. UU., Donald Trump, speaks during a meeting of the Oval Office on the preparations for the hurricane of Hurricane Florence at the White House in Washington, USA, September 11

The president of EE. UU., Donald Trump, speaks during a meeting of the Oval Office on the preparations for the hurricane of Hurricane Florence at the White House in Washington, USA, September 11

The president of EE. UU., Donald Trump, speaks during a meeting of the Oval Office on the preparations for the hurricane of Hurricane Florence at the White House in Washington, USA, September 11

The fictitious storm made landfall in the densely populated region of Hampton Roads, causing a swell of 15 feet and up to 9 inches of rain in some areas within the first six hours. That cut off the main routes, used both for escape and for rescuers, in the Hampton Roads area and elsewhere.

On stage, Cora also crashed winds with hurricane force at three nuclear power plants. One was damaged. Thirty-three main electrical substations were at risk due to storm surges and major floods.

Roads and key bridges were also damaged, and debris blocked the Newport News Channel and other waterways. The Cape Charles Coast Guard station lost power and the Chincoteague Coast Guard station was severely damaged by strong winds. The fierce fictitious storm also damaged and closed the Reagan National Airport in Washington.

The fake hurricane threatened hundreds of cell towers, and the area where the power was cut included 135 data centers in Virginia and another 60 in Maryland.

Cora's scenario projects hurricane-force winds that inflict "catastrophic damage" to homes and significant damage to critical infrastructure within a 50-mile radius of the center of the hurricane.

The manual does not mention deaths and injuries, focusing instead on infrastructure.

Another striking similarity between the scenario and the path of Hurricane Florence: already saturated ground in that part of the mid-Atlantic coast.

"What I'm afraid of is that saturation, combined with a stagnating storm," said Behr, who studied vulnerable populations on the Hurricane Katrina trails on the Gulf Coast and in the Hampton Roads region.

If parts of the east coast are flooded with water, it could cause a catastrophe on the Katrina scale, Behr said. And recovering from a disaster in the Hampton Roads region would also be parallel to the consequences of Katrina, he added.

"I think those patterns will also manifest in Hampton Roads if a big storm hits," he said. "The vulnerability of our populations is quite similar to New Orleans: displacement, pain, suffering, loss of property, all of which will develop in a way that parallels the way Katrina played."

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