While the Hurricane Florence is about to make a direct hit on North Carolina, all eyes from east coast to the white house are on it. Moving closer to its target, the storm will become the first Category 4 to directly hit the shore in six decades, and is likely to make a landfall by Thursday.
The President Donald Trump has signed disaster declarations for the Carolinas. Besides, he met the Homeland Security secretary, as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrators for briefing as the storm nears the east coast, on Tuesday.
FEMA Director Brock Long said, “The system is projected to move inland. Dump large amounts of rainfall. We will be measuring rainfall in feet not inches.”
FEMA also said that it is bracing for the worst, as forecasters expect life-threatening storm surges, high winds and major damage along the southeast coast.
FEMA’s Associate Administrator for Response and Recovery, Jeffrey Byard said, “We will experience power outages, we will have infrastructure damage, there will be homes damaged, there will be debris on the roads.”
While officials continue to urge residents in the Carolinas to be proactive, massive evacuations are already underway.
Charlie English with the American Red Cross said, “Build a kit, make a plan, know how you are going to be informed of the warning. You will have plenty of time to get ready for this.”
A federal report revealed the shortages of staff, and that lack of training slowed the response of FEMA to last year’s Hurricane Maria. Defending its action, FEMA highlighted that it is working with the white House, Department of Defense and other agencies to handle this year’s storms effectively.
The defense leaders informed that thousands of National Guard troops are ready to assist in case of Hurricane Florence where needed. Meanwhile, FEMA says it is ready to deploy its resources. It also stressed that hurricane season is at its peak, and more storms are expected!