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11 Sep, 2018 09:31

245,000 ordered to evacuate in Virginia as powerful Hurricane Florence descends on US

245,000 ordered to evacuate in Virginia as powerful Hurricane Florence descends on US

North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence’s arrival. Governor Ralph Northam issued a mandatory evacuation order for 245,000 Virginians in low-lying, coastal areas.

“Hurricane Florence has the potential to cause catastrophic flooding, especially in our coastal areas,” Governor Northam said in a statement. “This evacuation is for the safety of thousands of Virginians living in that zone. But the effects of this storm will be felt statewide, and I encourage everyone in Virginia to prepare now.”

READ MORE: State of emergency: Evacuations as raging Hurricane Florence inches closer to East Coast (PHOTOS)

The Virginia governor added that the entire state will be affected but further evacuations are not necessary at this time. He also stated that the hurricane’s path is liable to change and that Virginians should prepare for “coastal storm surge, inland flooding that may be severe, high winds, and widespread power outages.”

Florence has grown to a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 130mph as it descends upon the southeastern seaboard of the US.

Meanwhile, roughly one million people have been ordered to evacuate from South Carolina’s entire coastline.

The National Hurricane Centre has warned of “life-threatening” storm surges along the south-eastern seaboard and freshwater flooding due to a “prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event.”

It could be the worst hurricane to hit the Carolinas in over 60 years. The latest Category 4 to hit the Carolinas was Hurricane Hazel in 1954.

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