Residents of South Carolina who thought they were going to
be safe from Hurricane Florence are now rushing to prepare after a slight
change in the forecast.
Current forecast models have the hurricane shifting south.
Previously, North Carolina was forecast to be more at risk.
The mayor of a town outside Charleston is telling people to "take
control of your destiny" and leave town now before Hurricane Florence
Will Haynie is mayor of the Town of Mount Pleasant, just to
the east of Charleston. He urged residents on Wednesday to get out of the path
of the massive and powerful Category 4 storm, the likes of which he said the
area hasn't seen since 1989's Hugo.
Chris Pennington was boarding up the windows of his Myrtle
Beach house late Wednesday morning after noticing that the latest forecast has
Florence coming inland nearly over his home.
Pennington says he is still leaning toward staying put, but
that he'll keep a really close eye on the weather and leave by Thursday
afternoon if necessary.
He says one reason for staying is that his wife would be
available to help if needed at the local animal hospital where she works.
Georgia's governor has declared a state of emergency for all
159 counties as forecasters now say Hurricane Florence could take a southwest
Gov. Nathan Deal says the state "is mobilizing all
available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Florence."
Deal's declaration Wednesday covers comes as the National
Weather Service's storm forecast shows a chance that Florence's track might
turn toward the southwest as it approaches the Carolinas later this week.
No storm watches or warnings are in effect for Georgia. But
forecasters say there's an increased chance for tropical storm winds to reach
Deal's emergency declaration cited potential "changes
in the storm's trajectory" as well as an influx of evacuees coming to
Georgia from the Carolinas. The order eases regulations on trucks hauling
gasoline and relief supplies into Georgia.
Airlines are starting to cancel more flights as Hurricane
Florence approaches the Southeast coast.
At midday Wednesday, tracking service FlightAware said more
than 400 U.S. flights scheduled for Thursday had been canceled, most of them in
In Wilmington, North Carolina, four-fifths of Thursday's
departures have been scrapped. Anywhere from about one-third to more than half
of departures have been canceled in Myrtle Beach and Charleston, South
Carolina, and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.
The numbers are sure to rise as airlines begin cutting
flights scheduled for Friday and Saturday. Airlines typically wait until about
24 hours before takeoff before canceling a flight.
Delta says it's adding about 1,000 seats on flights to and
from the Southeast for people trying to flee the storm.