Florence pummels the Carolinas

1:13 p.m. ET, September 11, 2018

North Carolina governor orders mandatory evacuation of barrier islands

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, speaking at a news conference Tuesday, said he has ordered a mandatory evacuation of the state’s barrier islands.

The mandatory evacuation, he said, will extend from the Virginia border down to the South Carolina border. Ferry crews are assisting with the evacuations efforts.

Cooper also asked residents to gather supplies such as food, medication, flashlights, pet supplies and batteries. He added that they should be prepared to lose power for several days. 

 "Wherever you are in North Carolina — get ready for Florence now,” he said.

Cooper also asked residents to follow local evacuation orders already in place.

1:02 p.m. ET, September 11, 2018

Just 7 major hurricanes have hit the Carolinas in the last 139 years

High waves and strong winds from Hurricane Fran crash in Myrtle Beach in 1996
High waves and strong winds from Hurricane Fran crash in Myrtle Beach in 1996 DOUG COLLIER/AFP/Getty Images

If Hurricane Florence hits the Carolinas, as it's expected to do later this week, it will be only the eighth major hurricane to make landfall on the stretch of coastline from Savannah, Georgia, to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

Here's a look at the seven other major hurricanes (that's Category 3 and above storms) that have hit the region before:

  • 1879: An unnamed Category 3 storm with winds of 115 mph made landfall near Morehead City, North Carolina. A reported 46 people died.
  • 1893: An unnamed Category 3 storm made landfall north of Charleston, South Carolina. The death toll was 1,000 to 2,000, though records don't specify where the deaths occurred.
  • 1899: An unnamed Category 3 storm came ashore on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. About 3,000 people were killed by the storm, mostly in Puerto Rico.
  • 1954: Hurricane Hazel wrecked the Caribbean before making landfall on as a Category 4 hurricane near the North Carolina-South Carolina border. Hazel was responsible for 95 deaths and $281 million in damage in the United States (plus 100 deaths and $100 million in damage in Canada and an estimated 400 to 1,000 deaths in Haiti)
  • 1959: Hurricane Gracie made landfall as a Category 4 storm near Beaufort, South Carolina. Because the storm came ashore at low tide, the impact was lessened, the National Weather Service said. At least 22 people died.
  • 1989: Hurricane Hugo struck as a Category 4 storm just north of Charleston, South Carolina. Hugo was responsible for 21 deaths in the mainland United States, five more in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands and 24 more elsewhere in the Caribbean. Damages: $9 billion.
  • 1996: Hurricane Fran made landfall as a Category 3 storm near Cape Fear, North Carolina. Twenty-six people died, including 14 in North Carolina, the hurricane center said.
5:05 p.m. ET, September 14, 2018

Trump: Everybody is ready for the storm

President Trump stressed Tuesday the federal government is prepared for the Category 4 storm off the Atlantic coast.

"Everybody is ready," Trump said, according to the pool.

"We are absolutely totally prepared," he said.

What happened Monday: Trump received a briefing from Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long via phone.

Nielsen and Long will brief Trump again Tuesday in person at the White House, press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Monday.

The White House has been in contact with local authorities, Sanders said.

"Lines of communication remain open and the federal government stands ready to assist," she said.

The hurricane has also impacted the President's travel plans: His campaign canceled a campaign rally in Jackson, Mississippi, scheduled for Friday.

12:44 p.m. ET, September 11, 2018

In South Carolina, even the dogs and cats are leaving before the storm

A Nashville-based pet rescue made a trip to South Carolina to save about 30 dogs and cats from shelters in the path of the hurricane.

A team at Big Fluffy Dog Rescue drove more than 20 hours to retrieve the animals at a shelter in Pawleys Island.

"We got back in at midnight. It was about 24 hours roundtrip, so not too bad. Luckily we had some awesome volunteers meet us at our kennel facility to help unload, walk, feed and settle all the fur kids in," Tiffany Carol Fintel, a Nashville vet technician, told CNN.

Fintel added that Big Fluffy is not equipped for cats, but the founder of the rescue, Jean Harrison, has a "no animal left behind" policy so they picked up kittens too.

"When I arrived at the shelter to discover 15 cats, Jean said to load as many as we could fit," Fintel said. "If there had been pigs or even a duck she would have told me to take them too lol. The cats are settling in and we have a few cat rescues stepping up to help with them."

12:07 p.m. ET, September 11, 2018

South Carolina's Fort Sumter closed until further notice

The Fort Sumter National Monument in Charleston, South Carolina, is closed until further notice due to the threat of Hurricane Florence, according to the National Park Service.

Park staff will evaluate when the Charleston Harbor site is safe to reopen.

The site hosted the opening battle of the American Civil War.

12:00 p.m. ET, September 11, 2018

South Carolina governor cancels evacuations in 3 counties

Henry McMaster in 2016
Henry McMaster in 2016 Alex Wong/Getty Images

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster says he has canceled the mandatory evacuation order for three counties, which were set to go into effect at 12:00 p.m. ET today.

McMaster said that based on the most recent projections, mandatory evacuations are no longer required for...

  • Jasper County
  • Beaufort County
  • Colleton County (But there is still a mandatory evacuation order for Edisto Beach in the county, McMaster said.)

Mandatory evacuation orders remain in place for the other five counties announced Monday: Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley, Georgetown, and Horry Counties, according to McMaster.  

11:38 a.m. ET, September 11, 2018

Why some South Carolina residents refuse to evacuate

Parts of South Carolina are under mandatory evacuation orders ahead of Hurricane Florence. But not everyone is packing up and leaving the area.

CNN's Nick Valencia spoke to some Myrtle Beach residents who have decided to stay.

"We're well prepared," one resident said. "We've got things boarded up. We've got a lot of supplies from Walmart."

Another said she was watching the forecasts, and said she's ready to leave at the last minute if necessary.

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