As of Tuesday (Wednesday NZT), about 1.7 million people in North and SC and Virginia were under warnings to evacuate the coast, and hurricane watches and warnings extended across an area with about 5.4 million residents.
Sen. Jeff Merkley of OR said the administration was taking money from FEMA's "response and recovery" to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency at a time when Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the Southeast U.S. coast. "Heed those warnings and evacuate if you're in one of the zones".
Should other states request storm-related assistance from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, GEMA would in turn ask its Athens counterpart if the county could lend a hand by sending supplies or personnel to storm-ravaged areas. Find out now if you live in a flood prone area or a location that will be greatly impacted by storm surge.
"They haven't seen anything like what's coming at us in 25-30 years, maybe ever", President Trump said while appearing with FEMA officials in the Oval Office on Tuesday.
The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia ordered mandatory evacuation in areas of their states earlier this week.
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That same section of coastline and locations to the south near Myrtle Beach will also likely experience a prolonged period of destructive winds resulting in power outages that could last for days or weeks.
In a news release Wednesday, Gov. Nathan Deal says the state "is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Florence".
The "once-in-a-lifetime" storm was due to hit the coast of the southeastern USA tomorrow, bringing winds of up to 130mph and causing a sea surge of as much as 13 feet.
The eastbound lanes of several major highways have been shut to allow traffic to flow inland, but the exodus was slow along roads jammed with outward-bound vehicles.
"All my staff are gone", Thompson said.
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"But I'm staying", she said. "You can't stop Mother Nature".
"A motion toward the northwest is forecast to begin by this afternoon and continue through Thursday", the hurricane center says.
Helene was weakening, however, and posed no danger to land, the NHC said, while Isaac could bring heavy rain to Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe.
SC ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents while North Carolina ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination.
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In Virginia, 245,000 coastal residents were ordered to evacuate, including from the Eastern Shore, another popular beachfront destination.