“Michael is a massive storm that could bring total devastation to parts of our state,” said Florida Gov. Rick Scott Monday afternoon.
“Hurricane Michael is forecast to be the most destructive storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in decades,” he added.
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Hundreds need to be rescued
Florence’s merciless deluge has already killed 18 people, trapped hundreds and made parts of North and South Carolina impassable — and the worst flooding is yet to come.
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Flooding led to the closure of a huge stretch of Interstate 95 from north of Fayetteville all the way north to U.S. 64 – a span of about 60 miles of the freeway. Officials told drivers to avoid I-95 entirely, and advised them to instead go west into Tennessee and take I-75 through Georgia, WTVR.com reported.
“This is an extremely long detour, but it is the detour that offers the lowest risk of flooding at this time,” said the DOT.
State officials asked out-of-state motorists to go around North Carolina and avoid I-95.
Hundreds are still trapped from Florence’s flooding, and ‘the worst is still yet to come’
“Floodwaters are rising, and if you aren’t watching for them, you are risking your life,” Gov. Roy Cooper said.
Officials were warning residents not only to stay off the roads but also to avoid using GPS systems.
“As conditions change, GPS navigation systems are not keeping up with the road closures and are directing people onto roads that are confirmed closed and/or flooded,” the state Transportation Department said on Twitter.
Florence Moves Inland with ‘epic’ rain, flooding. It said it was located about 40 miles (65 km) west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and forecasters predicted a slow westward march.
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“I don’t care if this goes down to a Category 1. We’re still going to have a Category 4 storm surge,” ” CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.
Storm Update: Thursday Morning 9/13/2018
Update: Storm Surge 50 Miles Inland