Florence's new projected path puts Myrtle Beach in peril

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Photo Credit: National Hurricane Center

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 arrives.

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 turn.

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 Savannah.

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 the Southeast.

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.

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