ATLANTA - As Hurricane Florence continues to move closer to the East Coast, Channel 2 Action News has multiple reporters fanned out from the coasts of North Carolina, to Savannah and in Atlanta.
Our reporters are speaking with residents, local officials and emergency crews about their preparations for the storm.
We are also monitoring traffic as evacuees flood into Georgia, how coastal communities are responding and how the storm is expected to impact the metro Atlanta area.
Stay with Channel 2 Action News throughout the week and weekend as we continue to cover Hurricane Florence like no other news outlet.
Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Karen Minton says Florence has winds of 110 mph and is expected to strengthen throughout Thursday.
The National Hurricane Center has downgraded Florence to a Category 2 storm.
Delta confirms to Channel 2 Action News that Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Atlanta tomorrow has been canceled because of Hurricane Florence
Severe Weather Team 2 Chief Meteorologist Glenn Burns said a buoy has measured a wave in the Atlantic at 83 feet.
The Red Cross says more than 1,600 people spent Tuesday night in 36 Red Cross and community shelters in North Carolina and South Carolina and more than 1,500 disaster workers are either on the ground or in route to the region to help.
Some 80 emergency response vehicles and more than 120 trailers of equipment and relief supplies have already been deployed.
"This is not going to be a glancing blow," warns Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast."
Delta announced that airports in Charleston, S.C., Fayetteville, N.C., Jacksonville, N.C., and Wilmington, N.C., will close Wednesday evening after the arrival of most flights and will remain closed through Thursday, possibly longer.
Delta has added a total of 1,200 seats via extra flights and upsized aircraft in the storm's path. The airline has also expanded its travel waiver to include Asheville, N.C., Augusta, Ga., and Greenville/Spartanburg S.C., in addition to extending the impacted travel dates covered by the waiver through Sept. 17. The airline has also waived baggage and pet-in-cabin fees.
Delta has proactively cancelled approximately 85 flights, primarily scheduled for Thursday, to and from cities along the storm’s path as Hurricane Florence continues its approach to the Carolina coast.
JUST IN: Some schools along the Georgia coast will be closed Friday:
Join us tonight on Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV for a special digital-only show:
TONIGHT AT 7:30: Join Severe Weather Team 2 Chief Meteorologist @GlennBurnsWSB & @BradNitzWSB for a special digital only show, tracking Hurricane Florence. Watch here: https://t.co/7OgNZWtVie or on the Channel 2 Action News app on Roku, AppleTV and Amazon Fire TV pic.twitter.com/TBsYk1HjCC— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) September 12, 2018
Trump spoke about the impending hurricane:
Pres. Trump on Hurricane #Florence: “We’re getting tremendous accolades from politicians and the people. We are ready, but this is going to be one of the biggest ones to ever hit our country.” https://t.co/sqWyiuPyr1 pic.twitter.com/FdZGym9iKy— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 12, 2018
Pres. Trump on Hurricane #Florence preparations: “Protection of life is the absolute highest priority. And that’s what we’re doing. It’s called protection of life.” https://t.co/Ql1g4aE8cx pic.twitter.com/ANxX2HH2MW— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) September 12, 2018
Channel 2 reporters on the ground in the coastal Carolinas reported finding gas stations with little to no gas.
Wind will push water well inland along the coast areas of North Carolina. 9-13 feet of storm surge expected from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout. Here's a detailed graphic on what to expect... pic.twitter.com/iM9Um9yZbM— Glenn Burns (@GlennBurnsWSB) September 12, 2018
North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry says between 4 and 5 thousand people are in shelters.
NEW: White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says Pres. Trump spoke with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal today and has been receiving regular updates on storms threatening U.S. https://t.co/FT5FBS9u6A pic.twitter.com/k5CmcQzl4i— ABC News (@ABC) September 12, 2018
The new track brings Florence near east and northeast Georgia from Sunday to Monday. Its important to note the winds will be 25-30 mph however. pic.twitter.com/OnOx8vkugN— Brad Nitz (@BradNitzWSB) September 12, 2018
The National Hurricane Center just released the new forecast track for Hurricane Florence:
Its been 10 years since there have been 4 named storms in the Atlantic at the same time. pic.twitter.com/MdHC1CTMEo— Brad Nitz (@BradNitzWSB) September 12, 2018
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper had a stern warning about the upcoming storm: "One million NC residents have been asked to evacuate. If you have not been asked to leave, get ready to hunker down. Plan to be without power for days. Some areas will receive rain in feet instead of inches."
More than 10 million people are under storm watches and warnings in 3 states as Hurricane Florence approaches the Carolinas and Georgia.
We now have Tropical Storm Joyce.— Brad Nitz (@BradNitzWSB) September 12, 2018
This is the first time since 2008 the Atlantic has had 4 named storms simultaneously. pic.twitter.com/PJpNk9yznx
The Jackson County EMC says they are closely monitoring the projected forecast of Hurricane Florence and its potential impact on Northeast Georgia and is ready to respond. Linemen and other support personnel stand ready to respond to our members when needed.
The latest advisory indicates that Hurricane Florence will likely remain a Category 3 storm and not restrengthen to a Category 4 as it was earlier forecast. The latest data has the storm curving slightly more north.
Savannah's Fort Pulaski National Monument will be closed starting Thursday, Sept. 13. The park will remain closed until after the storm has passed and re-open once damage assessments have been made and the park is deemed safe for visitation.
Delta says they have added more than 1,000 seats for the Carolinas for Florence evacuees.
Huge swells are causing rip currents and beach erosion and it will get much worse. pic.twitter.com/KYVyeaOQ5b— Brad Nitz (@BradNitzWSB) September 12, 2018
Georgia hotels are starting to fill up as evacuees flood the state.
For people evacuating, here is a list of hotels with rooms still available https://t.co/Qk01NrD9vI— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) September 12, 2018
GEMA will go to "level 1" full-scale activation and open their special operations center tomorrow morning at 7 a.m..
Catastrophic storm surge potential for the North Carolina coast from 10-13 feet from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout.@BMonahanWSB will be reporting live from Wrightsville Beach on @wsbtv. pic.twitter.com/ZeJR8njRQT— Brad Nitz (@BradNitzWSB) September 12, 2018
At 4, GEMA-Homeland Security will activate its Special Operations Center tomorrow morning as Gov. Deal declares states of emergency in all 159 Georgia counties. The state is getting ready for Hurricane Florence. pic.twitter.com/xUUxdgoHP8— Richard Elliot (@RElliotWSB) September 12, 2018
Air BnB is offering free places for refugees from Florence to stay:
Georgia Power says they are actively monitoring the storm and coordinating with emergency partners, including GEMA and the Mutual Assistance Network. Visit www.georgiapower.com/storm to sign up for outage alerts.
1: 42 p.m.
An incredibly active tropical Atlantic right now. Wow!— Brad Nitz (@BradNitzWSB) September 12, 2018
Both of those red Xs are likely to become tropical cyclones in the next few days. pic.twitter.com/GlfyFnnVws
From our sister station in Jacksonville, check out the traffic at the SC/Ga border as evacuees leave areas that could be impacted by Florence:
Atlanta Motor Speedway announced they were opening even more campgrounds to refugees from Florence.
Attention Hurricane Florence Evacuees! We will be opening our Premiere and Legends campgrounds to those who need refuge! Dry camping will be FREE and full hookup sites will cost $20 per night.— Atlanta Motor Speedway (@amsupdates) September 11, 2018
More Info -> https://t.co/8Csk01bKiE pic.twitter.com/sdACMMbC15
Gov. Nathan Deal has issued a state of emergency for all 139 Georgia counties as Florence tracks closer to Georgia.
Based on the latest 11 a.m. forecast for the southward track of Hurricane Florence after making landfall and acting on a recommendation from @GeorgiaEMA officials, I have issued an emergency declaration for all 159 counties in Georgia. Read more here: https://t.co/FmO4iELdYq— Governor Nathan Deal (@GovernorDeal) September 12, 2018
12:35 p.m.: Channel 2's Berndt Petersen is in Bartow County is at the Budweiser plant where workers will ship water to Hurricane Florence victims.
Budweiser plant in Bartow County will ship water to hurricane victims. 5pm pic.twitter.com/8oc6AWzea4— Berndt Petersen (@BPetersenWSB) September 12, 2018
12:29 p.m.: Channel 2's Dave Huddleston is at the Atlanta airport where FEMA workers are gearing up for the storm.
12:06 p.m.: Channel 2's Craig Lucie is with local EMCs in Georgia as they prepare for Hurricane Florence.
11:43 a.m.: Channel 2's photojournalist Brian Ferguson is using NewsDrone2 over Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.
Drone photo above Wrightsville Beach, NC. pic.twitter.com/MAfYKtGIsT— Brian Ferguson (@BFergusonWSB) September 12, 2018
10:49 a.m.: Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Monahan is starting notice that the surf is beginning to pickup under the pier in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.
10:47 a.m.: Channel 2's Nicole Carr said that hospitals in Myrtle Beach are discharging and evacuating patients ahead of the storm.
Hospitals are now discharging, evacuating patients in Myrtle Beach. This one closed this morning. We'll have another live report from the SC coast on @wsbtv at noon. #HurricaneFlorence #Florence #StormWatchOn2 pic.twitter.com/lq8O79x3HE— Nicole Carr (@NicoleCarrWSB) September 12, 2018
10:22 a.m.: Channel 2's Tony Thomas is on his way to Savannah, as Hurricane Florence's track moves closer to the Georgia coast.
Rolling to the Georgia coast as Hurricane #Florence twists south over the Atlantic. She’s becoming more and more a factor for Georgia. Stay with us as we monitor the storm by the minute . #stormwatchon2 pic.twitter.com/dbpay4q3HI— Tony Thomas (@TonyThomasWSB) September 12, 2018
10:20 a.m.: Channel 2's Richard Elliot received a statement from GEMA, which said it is currently in a on Level 2.
Just got this statement from GEMA as it monitors Florence's track: "...GEMA/HS is in Level 2 enhanced monitoring operations today. We will continue to communicate with state, local and federal partners and assist them with any current or projected needs." More at 12.— Richard Elliot (@RElliotWSB) September 12, 2018
9:55 a.m.: Channel 2's Nicole Carr spoke to the Myrtle Beach mayor, who said the storm is the "real deal."
"This is the real deal. This is the one we need to pay attention to...." Don't miss these warnings from our interview with Myrtle Beach mayor , Brenda Bethune @BethuneForMB on @wsbtv at noon. #HurricaneFlorence #Florence #StormWatchOn2 @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/DZINF9eIMj— Nicole Carr (@NicoleCarrWSB) September 12, 2018
Watch out, America! #HurricaneFlorence is so enormous, we could only capture her with a super wide-angle lens from the @Space_Station, 400 km directly above the eye. Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you. #Horizons pic.twitter.com/ovZozsncfh— Alexander Gerst (@Astro_Alex) September 12, 2018
9:28 a.m.: Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Monahan is at Wrightsville Beach where lifeguard stands are coming down.
9:27 a.m.: Channel 2's Nicole Carr is in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where she said her hotel receptionist said people are still making arrangements ahead of Florence.
Listening to the Myrtle Beach hotel receptionist tell an evacuee no pets are allowed. People still making arrangements ahead of #HurricaneFlorence . We’ll have another live report at noon #StormWatchOn2 @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/RM26PTEb8X— Nicole Carr (@NicoleCarrWSB) September 12, 2018
8:19 a.m.: Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Monahan sees a line of crews on standby for power outages in Wilmington, North Carolina.
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