"Hurricane and storm surge watches now blanket much of the SC and North Carolina coasts, and enormous rainfall totals could be in store for coastal areas as well as inland".
"Don't play games with it". It's a big one'. With Hurricane Florence set to wallop the area as a Category 4 hurricane, there are fears the ponds could overflow or even collapse amid extremely heavy rain, sending vast amounts of manure from thousands of farms into rivers and contaminating groundwater.
Florence is now a Category 4 storm on the five-point Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale and is forecast to slam into the Carolinas late Thursday or early Friday.
If the hurricane continues in a southwesterly direction, the Georgia coastline and inland counties will experience the outer bands of the storm, meteorologists said.
Where we're headed: It's too early to tell exactly how Florence will swing through the mid-Atlantic coast, but Jefferies breaks down which companies are in its potential path.
"The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Florence", said Deal.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that Florence's maximum sustained winds had eased to 110 miles per hour (175 kph) and it had been downgraded to a Category 2 storm from Category 3 on the 5-level Saffir-Simpson wind scale. It was packing winds of 215kmh and enough moisture to dump 30cm of rain on the region.
Deal's declaration Wednesday covers comes as the National Weather Service's storm forecast shows a chance that Florence's track might turn toward the southwest as it approaches the Carolinas later this week.
On another barrier island just below the Bogue Banks, Steve Harrigan reported live from North Topsail Beach, where visitors and residents were largely heeding warnings from Gov. Roy Cooper (D-N.C.) to evacuate.
Up to 1.7 million people have been ordered to evacuate across South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Cars and trucks full of people and belongings streamed inland.
Forecasters said Wednesday that Florence's wind field is expanding, making it a large, stable hurricane with a clearly defined eye at its center. "That's the primary driver of the evacuations that are underway by the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia right now".
Still, some companies do look more exposed than others.