Published:  12:11 AM, 12 September 2018

Evacuations ordered as hurricane heads toward Carolina

Evacuations ordered  as hurricane heads toward Carolina Customers at a hardware store in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, which may be in the path.-Reuters

More than 1.5 million people were ordered to evacuate their homes along the US Atlantic coast as Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm and the most powerful to menace the Carolinas in nearly three decades, barreled in on Tuesday.

Florence, packing winds of 140 miles per hour (220 kph), was expected to grow even stronger before making landfall on Thursday, mostly likely in southeastern North Carolina near the South Carolina border, the National Hurricane Centre in Miami said. "We are in the bull's eye," North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told reporters on Monday.

Florence was expected to turn into "an extremely dangerous major hurricane" during Thursday night, the hurricane centre said in a bulletin. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued an evacuation order for about 245,000 residents in flood-prone coastal areas beginning at 8 a.m.

local time and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered more than 1 million residents along his state's coastline to leave starting at noon on Tuesday. At least 250,000 more people were due to be evacuated from the northern Outer Banks in North Carolina on Tuesday after more than 50,000 people were ordered on Monday to leave Hatteras and Ocracoke.

-Reuters, Holden Beach

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