US coastal cities set to feel full force of 140 miles per hour hurricane winds

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Coastal residents of the US fleeing a potentially devastating blow from hurricane Florence encountered empty gasoline pumps and depleted store shelves as the monster storm neared the Carolina coast with 140 miles per hour winds and drenching rain that could last for days.

While some said they planned to stay put despite hurricane watches and warnings that include the homes of more than 5.4 million people on the East Coast, many were not taking any chances.

Steady streams of vehicles full of people and belongings flowed inland Tuesday as governor Roy Cooper tried to convince everyone on North Carolina’s coast to flee.

"The waves and the wind this storm may bring is nothing like you’ve ever seen. Even if you’ve ridden out storms before, this one is different. Don’t bet your life on riding out a monster,” he said.

Forecasters said Florence was expected to blow ashore late Thursday or early Friday, then slow down and dump a torrential 1 to 2½ feet of rain. Flooding well inland could wreak environmental havoc by washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.