Last updated: 9.14.18 at 9:53 AM ET
Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, Friday morning and continues to spread heavy rain and strong winds into the Carolinas, before it is expected to move inland and to the north. Destructive winds, substantial rainfall, which could reach up to more than 2 feet in some areas, inland flooding and a dangerous storm surge are possible.
A hurricane warning and storm surge warning are in effect from the South Santee River, South Carolina, to Duck, North Carolina, including the Albemarle and Pamlico sounds. These warnings include Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Wilmington, North Carolina, and most of the Outer Banks.
Hurricane warnings also extend inland, including North Carolina cities such as Greenville, Goldsboro and Kinston.
Hurricane watches and storm surge watches are in effect from Edisto Beach, South Carolina, northward to the South Santee River, South Carolina. This includes Charleston, South Carolina.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect north of Duck, North Carolina, to Cape Charles Lighthouse, Virginia, as well as for the Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort, Virginia, and from Edisto Beach, South Carolina, northward to the South Santee River, South Carolina. This includes Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Virginia, and Charleston, South Carolina.
For the latest forecast information, click here.
For an interactive storm map, click here.
What You Can Do Now
- If you have a generator, confirm that it is fueled up or that its permanent fuel supply line is unobstructed. Test the generator before the storm hits to ensure it is working properly.
- If you have storm shutters, put them in place now; do not wait for inclement weather to begin.
- Bring outdoor furniture, decorations, grills, trash cans and other belongings inside. Remove loose branches or fencing that could fly free.
- Ensure any outdoor drains, gutters, downspouts and window wells around your home are clear of debris so that any accumulation of water has a place to go.
- Remove small furniture, electronics, area rugs and other items from the floor. Raise drapes and curtains or put the bottoms in trash bags and tie them tightly. If you have the resources, place furniture and appliances up on masonry blocks or concrete.
- Place valuable belongings in a central room that is not directly under the roof, such as a walk-in closet or bathroom.
- Close all interior doors, exterior doors and windows in order to provide your home's frame with as much stability as possible and compartmentalize any wind pressure that occurs. If you have the resources, seal any cracks or holes found along doors, windows, walls or areas where cables and pipes enter your home with silicone caulk.
- Place bags of ice in your freezer to preserve food in the event of a power outage. Freeze tap water for pets, drinking and cleaning.
If Your Home is Unoccupied
Ask your property manager, or a neighbor or trusted friend to check in on the home to ensure it's ready for the storm:
- Make sure the openings to your home are secure. If you have storm shutters for your windows, confirm they are deployed. If not, consider emergency board up if necessary. Contractors may be able to help you with this work depending on how much time you have and how many resources there are in your area.
- Ensure any outdoor furniture and other belongings are inside so as to protect it from the elements. Protect your home and property by securing other items like barbecue grills, garbage cans, fire pits, and any other freestanding, lightweight objects that can become projectiles in a windstorm.
If You Own Watercraft
- When under the threat of a windstorm, your vessel is safest when hauled out of the water and secured on land.
- Whenever possible, boats on lifts or davits should be stored ashore or moved to a safer location in the water (dock or anchorage).
- Make sure that fuel tanks are full, batteries are charged, bilge pumps are working and free of debris and that cockpit drains are clear.
- Remove and/or secure all deck gear, portable gear, radio antennas, outriggers, fighting chairs, deck boxes, bimini tops and side canvas/curtains, sails, booms, extra halyards, canister rafts and dinghies. Secure all hatches, ports and doors.
- If you can't get your watercraft to a private dock or marina to weather the storm, the best mooring location for a vessel is in the center of a canal or narrow river where at least doubled mooring lines can be secured to both shores, port and starboard, fore and aft.
- Your policy may include coverage for reasonable expenses incurred by you to move your vessel to a safe location prior to the threat of a covered peril.
Advice for Safe Driving
Water can be incredibly damaging to an engine. However, there are some easy steps that you can take to protect yourself and your property from this type of incident happening.
- Whenever possible, avoid driving in standing water. If it's unavoidable, use extreme caution.
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling; a foot of water will float many vehicles and could even carry them away.
- Be wary of driving through a flooded road. The depth of water is not always clear and the roadbed may have been washed away – which could lead one to be stranded if the vehicle becomes immobile.
- If you think your vehicle may have suffered water damage, remember to refrain from starting the engine until licensed mechanics can perform remedial efforts to remove any water that may have entered.