President Donald Trump has declared a State of Emergency in both North and South Carolina, in anticipation of damage done by Hurricane Florence.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced early Tuesday that federal emergency aid is being made available to the North Carolina.
White House officials released a statement Monday saying Trump had declared an emergency in South Carolina and ordered Federal assistance for the state in connection with Hurricane Florence.
The action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts in the state caused by the storm and provide “appropriate assistance for required emergency measures.”
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Experts predict the storm will likely hit the center of the state on Thursday or early Friday and then move its way inland toward Raleigh, bringing tropical storm force winds and up to 12 inches of rain in some inland counties.
The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts to alleviate “the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population,” according to a statement from the White House issued Monday night.
Hurricane Florence is now a Category 4 storm and is “rapidly strengthening” as it heads toward the Carolinas coast, bringing “exceptionally heavy rain,” the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Monday.
The federal government will provide “assistance for required emergency measures ... to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in all 100 North Carolina counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians,” the statement said.
On Tuesday, Trump told reporters “we are absolutely and totally prepared” for Hurricane Florence, according to a tweet from ABC News White House reporter Katherine Faulders.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper tweeted earlier Monday that he had requested a Federal Disaster Declaration to help speed federal aid for North Carolina.
Trump also tweeted about Florence and the Carolinas after being briefed on the storm on Monday.
“To the incredible citizens of North Carolina, South Carolina and the entire East Coast - the storm looks very bad! Please take all necessary precautions. We have already began mobilizing our assets to respond accordingly, and we are here for you!”
Trump said he spoke with N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper and S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster on Monday.
“My people just informed me that this is one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast in many years. Also, looking like a direct hit on North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!” the president tweeted.
Trump said he spoke with Cooper and S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster on Monday.
The State reported that McMaster announced a mandatory evacuation of the South Carolina coast, effective at noon Tuesday.