Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

Hurricane Florence’s Strength Triggers Evacuations Along East Coast

According to the last updates from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Hurricane Florence remains a Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Scale but is predicted to strengthen later in the day. The NHC currently anticipates this will be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it makes landfall.


Here’s the latest list of public advisories from NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) 11:00 AM AST, September 11, 2018 update:

  • Storm Surge Watch in effect for the following:
    • Edisto Beach South Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border
    • Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers
  • Hurricane Watch in effect for the following:
    • Edisto Beach South Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border
    • Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds


The NHC also provides a list of hazards present in the path of the storm. Please heed all evacuation orders and instructions from local emergency management and law enforcement:

  • RAINFALL: Florence is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 15 to 20 inches with isolated maximum amounts to 30 inches near the storm’s track over portions of the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic States from late this week into early next week. Rainfall of this magnitude will cause catastrophic flash flooding and life-threatening river flooding.
  • STORM SURGE:  The water has the potential to reach the following heights above ground if peak surge occurs at the time of high tide:
    • Edisto Beach to Murrells Inlet: 2-4 feet
    • Murrells Inlet to Cape Fear: 4-6 feet
    • Cape Fear to Cape Lookout including The Neuse and Pamlico
    • River: 6-12 feet
    • Cape Lookout to Ocracoke Inlet: 5-8 feet
    • Ocracoke Inlet to North Carolina/Virginia Border: 3-5 feet
  • WIND: Hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area by Thursday evening, with tropical storm conditions possible by Thursday morning.
  • SURF: Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda and portions of the U.S. East Coast. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.


  • Emergencies declared by governors in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.
  • President Trump has declared emergencies for South Carolina (EM-3400) and North Carolina (EM-3401)

Many counties along the eastern coastline have ordered evacuations to residents, including:

*For up to date evacuation orders, please follow the latest news from the NC Emergency Management, SC Emergency Management Division, and Virginia Department of Emergency Management online and via social media.

Hagerty will continue to monitor Florence’s movements and provide critical updates on Disaster Discourse this week.

Below is a list of information resources to be prepared for hurricanes and hazardous weather:

Hagerty Consulting is an emergency management consulting firm that helps clients prepare for and recover from disasters. Established in 2001, Hagerty’s work includes some of the nation’s largest recovery and preparedness projects in more than 30 states, including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Sandy. The firm is (and has been) consistently recognized throughout the industry for its innovative thinking, client-centric service, and the superior results it delivers to every project. Hagerty professionals reside in all 10 FEMA regions; the firm’s offices are in Evanston, Illinois (corporate headquarters); Austin, Texas; and Washington, D.C. Learn more about how our Recovery and Preparedness Divisions can help you this hurricane season.