Fuel prices, shortages rising as Hurricane Florence speeds to U.S. Coast

AFP  Getty Images    
   OMINOUS Hurricane Florence is set to blast the US east coast

AFP Getty Images OMINOUS Hurricane Florence is set to blast the US east coast

Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall somewhere between North Carolina, South Carolina, and the Mid-Atlantic states on Thursday evening or Friday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The National Hurricane Center is warning that a life-threatening storm surge along the coast of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia is likely.

The slow-moving storm, the most severe hurricane to threaten the USA mainland this year, was rated a 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.

As of early Tuesday afternoon, most conferences and leagues were still monitoring the storm, which is expected to make landfall Thursday night, but schedule changes were beginning to roll in.

"Storm Surge and Hurricane watches could be issued for portions of these areas by Tuesday morning".

Cooper and his counterparts in neighbouring SC and Virginia ordered about 1 million people to evacuate coastal homes, including along the Outer Banks barrier islands.

A new National Hurricane Center map predicting the likelihood of tropical storm-force winds stretches from northern Florida to eastern Kentucky and OH, and even up to the New York City area - although there's only a 5% to 10% chance of those conditions stretching that far north.

"This will be a storm that creates and causes massive damage to our country", he said, adding that significant inland flooding is expected in states including Maryland and Pennsylvania.

It warned the storm would be "an extremely risky major hurricane" by the time it made landfall, forecast in the Carolinas on Thursday. It regained hurricane strength Sunday and was upgraded again Monday. Then, the strong winds, which may be higher than the other hurricanes that we have recently experienced.

Florence is moving west-northwest at around 15 miles per hour, officials said. That Category 4 storm destroyed 15,000 buildings and killed 19 people in North Carolina.

"Florence continues on a track to impact the United States mainland by Thursday or Friday". And of course, inland flooding from heavy rain.

Red Cross Spokesperson Jonathan McNamara on preparations as Hurricane Florence approaches the US coast.

"We've seen nor'easters and we've seen hurricanes before", Cooper said, "but this one is different". SC governor Henry McMaster also suspended his campaign and asked President Donald Trump for a federal emergency declaration.

The Pentagon said Monday it has sent an advance military team to an emergency operations center in Raleigh, North Carolina, to coordinate with federal and state partners in relief efforts.

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