As Hurricane Florence strengthened into a major storm on Monday, evacuation orders were issued for residents living in the potential path of the hurricane. Florence was upgraded to a Category 4 storm on Monday afternoon, bringing sustained winds near 130 mph, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed. The storm was expected to make landfall somewhere in the mid-Atlantic region.
As Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina declared states of emergencies in preparation for the storm, authorities began to issue evacuation orders on Monday.
Newsweek has compiled a running list of evacuation orders prompted by the impending landfall of Hurricane Florence.
A mandatory evacuation order was issued on Monday for all visitors and residents in Dare County, Dare County Emergency Management announced. The order included the towns of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Manteo, Roanoke Island and all of the Dare County mainland.
Florence could bring “life-threatening storm surges” in addition to tropical storm force winds, rains and the potential for tornadoes to Dare County, emergency officials said.
“Everyone in Dare County is encouraged to evacuate as soon as possible regardless of established time frames,” the emergency management notice said.
An evacuation order was issued on Monday for the entire coastline of South Carolina, The Post and Courier reported. Evacuations for the entire border, some 187-miles of coast, will start at noon on Tuesday, according to the paper. Evacuations would likely extend inland, to some parts of Dorchester County and Berkeley County.
To accommodate the massive evacuation order, all eastbound lanes of Interstate 26 will be reversed to lead traffic out of the evacuated area. The evacuation order will affect about a million people, Governor Henry McMaster said in a press conference on Monday.
McMaster also announced that public schools and state offices would be closed on Tuesday until further notice in the following counties: Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Beaufort, Barnwell, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Colleton, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Lexington, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter and Williamsburg.
“Some schools in the inland counties will be used as shelters, some school busses will be needed to assist in evacuation efforts, and we want to keep the roads as clear as possible for the one million evacuees we are expecting,” McMaster said.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.