'Monster' Hurricane Florence has 'potential for unbelievable damage', will knock out power for weeks
The National Hurricane Center said that the storm is hours away from striking the US and is expected to make landfall on the coast of North and South Carolina as a major hurricane.
The potentially "catastrophic" Hurricane Florence, which is already being called a "monster", is inching closer toward the Carolinas as it gains strength and could become a Category 5 storm, according to reports. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a warning on Tuesday, cautioning that the storm could knock out power for weeks in some of the coastal areas after making landfall in the states.
Associate Administrator for FEMA’s Office of Response and Recovery, Jeffrey Byard, said: "The storm is going to definitely knock out power for days into weeks. It’s going to destroy infrastructure, going to destroy homes.”
As millions of people are evacuating from the region, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said that Hurricane Florence is a storm the likes of which the residents have never seen before. "This storm 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," Cooper said.
The National Hurricane Center said that the fast-approaching storm is just hours away from striking the United States and is expected to make landfall on the coast of North and South Carolina as a major hurricane. The agency added that it will bring a disastrous amount of rainfall, causing a strom surge and inland flooding.
A meterologist with the National Weather Service office serving Wilmington, N.C said: "This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast, and that’s saying a lot given the impacts we’ve seen from hurricanes Diana, Hugo, Fran, Bonnie, Floyd, and Matthew. I can’t emphasize enough the potential for unbelievable damage from wind, storm surge, and inland flooding with this storm," the Washington Post reported.
FEMA administrator Brock Long reportedly briefed President Donald Trump separately on the impending storm on Tuesday afternoon after the president declared a state of emergency in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Trump, on Tuesday, said that he expects Florence to be one of the worst storms to ever strike the country, adding that the federal government is ready to tackle it.
Trump said: "It’s going to be a very large one. It’s tremendously big and tremendously wet.” FEMA said that the inland flooding caused by the hurricane is expected to affect multiple states, including Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Reports state that FEMA is assisting its state-run emergency management services and has distributed nearly eight million bottles of water and meals, cots, blankets and generators across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
"This storm is a serious storm that has the potential to create loss of life. Now is the time to act. Now is the time to ensure you have the supplies you need to evacuate," the federal agency said.