Athens prepares for Hurricane Florence, statewide emergency declared

Trump Hurricane Florence looking ‘bigger than anticipated

Enough rain could fall to break North Carolina's record for a tropical storm - 24 inches - set near Wilmington during Hurricane Floyd in 1999, said Greg Carbin, chief of forecast operations at the Weather Service's national prediction center. It's exacerbated by two bays in the storm's path that collect water and increase the height of a surge.

Lauren Hancock, a resident of Wrightsville Beach in the state's evacuation zone, said: "I'm looking across the street at a gas station, and it's a madhouse". "If its track holds, it could break storm surge records and do a significant amount of coastal damage". "Hurricane Florence is the strongest storm to target the Carolinas and this part of our country in decades". It's estimated that 1 million people will be impacted by Florence's arrival.

In neighbouring Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan said his state was readying for potentially "historic and catastrophic rainfall, life-threatening flooding, and high winds".

"At this point, we would expect demand destruction from Florence to be a bit less than that of Irma, as Florida has a larger population and a more gas-intensive power stack than the Carolinas", Genscape natural gas analyst Eric Fell said. A crew from IL has already arrived in Greensboro, and crews from West Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, Vermont, Florida and Tennessee are also on their way. The firm estimates threats to real estate total about $170 billion. This storm is going to be a direct hit. "Six inches of water can knock you off your feet, and two feet of water can actually lift your vehicle off the ground".

The NHC said Helene was weakening, however, and posed no danger to land.

Volkswagen to end production of iconic Beetle
It was also popular with the 1960s counter-culture types who extolled the Beetle's small, practical, but aesthetic qualities. Among its fans is Hollywood actor Chris Pratt, who took almost 12 years to restore a 1965 Volkswagen Beetle , in 2016.

As Florence moves west, North Carolina prepares for recovery
North Carolina's governor Roy Cooper said: "Know that water is rising fast everywhere, even in places that don't typically flood". A speed boat sits wedged in bushes in the parking lot of a waterfront hotel in New Bern, North Carolina, on September 14, 2018.

Five dead in Carolinas as Florence brings ´epic´ floods
A speed boat sits wedged in bushes in the parking lot of a waterfront hotel in New Bern, North Carolina, on September 14, 2018. More than 10 million people are under hurricane watches or warnings and 1.7 million have been ordered to evacuate the coast.

So far the storm is expected to be relatively long-lived and will have all of the traits of Katrina and Matthew in abundance.

"You'd have to expect, just based on the forecast, that it's going to be a significant impact to businesses", including prolonged disruptions, said Rick Miller, head of the US property practice at Aon Plc. "There's just more people in harm's way, unfortunately". It is estimated that the wind speed in the eye of the hurricane reaches 200 km/h.

Updated NHC forecasts showed the storm lingering near the coast, bringing days of heavy rains that could bring intense inland flooding from SC, where some areas could see as much as 40 inches (1m) of rain, to Virginia.

"This is not a storm that people need to ride out", Cooper told reporters.

John Kinney, chief claims officer at Hartford, said three-quarters of the small businesses hit by Superstorm Sandy in 2012 had to close their doors for at least a day, with the average duration being about seven days.

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