Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

FEMA said budget diverted to ICE will not impact response to Florence

FEMA said budget diverted to ICE will not impact response to Florence

More than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate over the past few days, and the homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions.

Regardless of its intensity at landfall, Florence is a unsafe hurricane that will cause life-threatening conditions for portions of the Southeast U.S. Residents of the Carolinas should closely follow the National Hurricane Center and local authorities.

As of 8 a.m. ET, Florence was 530 miles southeast of Cape Fear, N.C., moving west-northwest at 17 mph, the National Hurricane Center says.

Forecast maps show Florence stalling out just off the coast of the Carolinas for at least 24 hours, starting Friday morning.

The U.S. Coast Guard closed ports in Wilmington and Morehead City, North Carolina and Hampton Roads, Virginia to inbound vessels greater than 500 tons and was requiring vessels of that size to leave if they did not have permission to be in the ports.

President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for all three states, with Florence likely to bring widespread flooding and destruction once it arrives.

Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey, which decimated parts of the Gulf states and Texas in 2005 and 2017 respectively, cost more than $125 billion.

"I encourage Georgians to be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas", he said.

A hurricane warning - meaning hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours - is in effect for a long stretch of the coast, from the Santee River in SC to Duck, N.C., which is part of the Outer Banks. "He lives in North Carolina".


The South Carolina Department of Corrections' Palmer Pre Release Center a Level 1 Minimum Custody Prison in Florence, South Carolina, was evacuated in advance of Hurricane Florence due to security reasons. It is estimated that the wind speed in the eye of the hurricane reaches 200 km/h.

Evacuation orders for low-lying areas were issued Monday and continued Tuesday.

To hasten evacuations from coastal SC, officials reversed the flow of traffic on some highways so all major roads led away from shore.

Expected to make landfall by Friday, the impact of the storm will be widespread, with destructive winds, life-threatening storm surge, risky surf, torrential rainfall, flooding and the potential for tornadoes. North Carolina corrections officials said more than 3,000 people were relocated from adult prisons and juvenile centres in the path of Florence, and more than 300 county prisoners were transferred to state facilities.

Some areas are expected to see between 20 and 30 inches of rain through early next week in the area shaded in purple in the second image above.

"It brings multiple threats, including a massive storm surge at the coast, as well as a potentially catastrophic inland flood situation".

Farther to the east, Hurricane Helene is now a Category 2 storm, but it's expected to curve harmlessly northward and weaken in the central Atlantic. "Florence is expected to slow down considerably by late Thursday into Friday, and move slowly through early Saturday".

Elsewhere in the Atlantic basin, Tropical Storm Isaac will strike the islands of the Lesser Antilles, with Guadeloupe, Dominica and Martinique under a tropical storm warning.

Hurricane Florence is now expected to head more directly west after making landfall, crossing through SC. The large storm is also projecting tropical storm-force winds outward up to 170 miles.

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