North Carolina, Coastal residents 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 mph (225 kph) 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 weren’t taking any chances.
A steady stream of vehicles full of people and belongings
flowed inland, and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper tried to convince
everyone to flee.
Forecasters said Florence was expected to blow ashore late
Thursday or early Friday, then slow down and dump 1 to 2� feet (0.3
to 0.6 meters) of rain that could cause flooding well inland and wreak
environmental havoc by washing over industrial waste sites and hog
Florence is so wide that a life-threatening storm surge was being
pushed 300 miles (485 kilometers) ahead of its eye, and so wet that a
swath from South Carolina to Ohio and Pennsylvania could get
People across the region rushed to buy bottled water and other
supplies, board up their homes, pull their boats out of the water and
get out of town.
Long lines formed at service stations, and some started running
out of gas as far west as Raleigh, with bright yellow bags, signs or rags
placed over the pumps to show they were out of order. Some store
shelves were picked clean.
Florence is the most dangerous of three tropical systems in the
Atlantic. Tropical Storm Isaac was east of the Lesser Antilles and
expected to pass south of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and Cuba while
Hurricane Helene was moving northward away from land. Forecasters
also were tracking two other disturbances, the Associated Press (AP)
Source: Oman News Agency