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Georgia under state of emergency ahead of hurricane

15 September 2018

Hurricane Florence continues its path towards Wilmington and remains a Category 4 storm - but predictions now show the storm stalling over land and taking a more southerly route over the weekend into Monday.

Officials in at least one area that ordered an evacuation will be going to homes to ask people planning to ride it out for information on their next of kin, CNN reported Wednesday.

As of 8 p.m., the storm was centered 335 miles (540 kilometers) southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving northwest at 16 mph (26 kph). Then it is likely to hover along the coast Saturday, pushing up to 13 feet (nearly 4 meters) of storm surge and unloading water on both states. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency on the federal level Tuesday for the Carolinas and Virginia. Three college football games with Top 25 teams have been called off: East Carolina at No. 11 Virginia Tech, No. 15 West Virginia at NC State and No. 18 Central Florida at North Carolina. A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, SC, to South Santee River, SC. But forecasters say there's an increased chance for tropical storm winds to reach Savannah.

The eastbound lanes of several major highways have been shut down to allow traffic to flow inland, but the exodus was slow along roads jammed with outward-bound vehicles.

Florence's nighttime winds were down to 115 miles per hour (185 kph) from a high of 140 miles per hour (225 kph), and the Category 4 storm fell to a Category 3, with a further slow weakening expected as the storm nears the coast.

The impact of storm surge on the coast will depend on whether the storm's arrival coincides with high tide.

Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly. Tropical Storm Olivia is expected to move over Hawaii Wednesday or Thursday, KHNL reported. Isaac could bring heavy rainfall to Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe. The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

"Watch out, America! #HurricaneFlorence is so enormous, we could only capture her with a super wide-angle lens", German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this morning, along with the photos to prove it. "Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you".

Another disturbance is swirling around in the Gulf of Mexico.

Georgia under state of emergency ahead of hurricane