ATLANTA (AP) — The latest update on Hurricanes Florence and Isaac (all times local):
The governor of Maryland has declared a state of emergency in preparation for significant flooding from Hurricane Florence.
Gov. Larry Hogan made the announcement at a news conference Monday. While the governor noted there is still some uncertainty about the track of the storm, he says Maryland officials are “preparing for the potential of historic, catastrophic and life-threatening flooding in Maryland.”
Hogan says the declaration of emergency is a planning measure to ensure all necessary resources are mobilized in areas of the state with greatest potential need.
He says coastal and low-lying areas are of particular concern, as well as parts of the state that already have received substantial rainfall over the last few days.
The mayor of Richmond has declared a state of emergency as Virginia’s capital city braces for significant rain from Hurricane Florence.
Mayor Levar Stoney said Monday that even though the city is not expected to receive a direct impact from the hurricane, it is likely to mean heavy rain, strong winds, possible flooding and power outages.
Stoney urged residents to prepare now by gathering supplies, including nonperishable food, water, flashlights, and batteries. He said the city’s emergency operations center will be partially activated Wednesday and fully activated on Thursday.
A mandatory evacuation order has been issued for residents living along the entire South Carolina coast.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has ordered the evacuation to start at noon Tuesday as Hurricane Florence approaches. The order applies to all eight counties along the coast: Jasper, Beaufort, Colleton, Charleston, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, and Berkeley counties.
He says storm surge could reach as high as 10 feet (3 meters) and estimates 1 million residents will be leaving the coast. Eastbound lanes of Interstate 26 heading into Charleston and U.S. 501 heading into Myrtle Beach will be reversed when the order takes effect.
McMaster has already declared a state of emergency in South Carolina and asked President Donald Trump for a federal declaration ahead of the storm, which intensified Monday to a potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 130 mph (195 kph).
Forecasters say the hurricane’s strength is expected to fluctuate but it still will be a dangerous storm by the time it reaches the coast of South Carolina or North Carolina on Thursday.
North Carolina’s governor says consistency of the Hurricane Florence’s forecast track toward the Carolinas has helped the state understand the threat early on and given it time to get ready.
Gov. Roy Cooper said at a news conference at the state’s Emergency Operations Center that the North Carolina is in the “bull’s-eye” of the rapidly strengthening storm.
Cooper said he asked President Donald Trump for a federal disaster declaration so that resources will be ready when the storm arrives. Cooper already issued a state of emergency late last week.