Hurricane Florence threatens millions on US East Coast

Around 5.4 million people were issued storm warnings on the US East coast as Hurricane Florence builds in the Atlantic.

    More than 1.5 million people living on the US East Coast have been ordered to leave their homes as Hurricane Florence heads towards them.

    The storm, which is building up over the Atlantic, is due to make landfall in either North or South Carolina within the next few days, and is expected to be the worst storm to hit the area in 30 years.

    The category four hurricane is set to bring with it heavy rains and winds of up to 225 kilometres per hour.

    As residents of the region prepared by stocking up on essentials, officials called on them to evacuate to higher ground.

    "Florence is intensifying," said North Carolina's Governor Roy Cooper, adding: "This storm is strong, and its gettings stronger."

    But the warnings have not been enough to deter all of those living in the area, with some residents telling Al Jazeera that they planned to stock up of supplies and "wait it out".

    Officials are worried that the downpours caused by the hurricane could result in heavy flooding, like that seen after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in 2017.

     "We will experience power outages, we will have infrastructure damaged, there will be homes damaged, and there will be debris on the roads," said Jeff Byard, an official from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    "This will be a storm that creates and causes massive damage to our country."

    US President Donald Trump has authorised emergency measures to free up federal funds to help those responding to the storm.

    "Hurricane Florence is looking even bigger than anticipated. It will be arriving soon. FEMA, First Responders and Law Enforcement are supplied and ready. Be safe!" He tweeted.


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