Elderly couple fleeing Florence hold hands in the back of ambulance

Touching photo shows elderly couple holding hands as they are evacuated from Hurricane Florence in the back of an ambulance, while officials warn that it’s now ‘too late’ to get out of ‘monster’ storm’s path

  • More than 1.7 million people were warned to evacuate and get out of the way of the ‘life-threatening’ storm 
  • Massive storm surge began rolling inland on Thursday evening, effectively closing the window to evacuate
  • Some have opted to ignore evacuation orders, risking their lives as the huge Category 1 bears down  
  • It is forecast to dump up to 40 inches of rain in some areas after it makes landfall in North and South Carolina
  • Life-threatening storm surges of up to 11 feet are also forecast along with tornadoes in North Carolina

A tender photo shows an elderly couple holding hands in the back of an ambulance as they are evacuated ahead of Hurricane Florence.

The couple were rushed out of a nursing home in Beaufort County, South Carolina on Thursday, as the evacuation window for more than 1.7 million people under mandatory orders closed rapidly.

In South Carolina, more than 400,000 people have evacuated the state’s coast and more than 4,000 people have taken refuge in shelters, officials said. Myrtle Beach, a top tourist destination, was a practical ghost town by Thursday evening.

In Beaufort, North Carolina, Mayor Everette Newton told CNN that it is now ‘too late’ to get out for those who haven’t already.

‘It’s really dangerous out right now, with lots of limbs coming down, lots of debris going around,’ he explained. ‘They need to shelter in place.’  

An elderly couple hold hands as they are evacuated by ambulance from a nursing home in South Carolina on Thursday

People sit at a bar and drink during a ‘Hurricane Party’ as Hurricane Florence comes ashore on Wilmington, North Carolina. Officials are now saying that for many coastal areas, it is ‘too late’ to evacuate and residents must now shelter in place

Locals have a drink as they hunker down at the Barbary Coast bar in downtown Wilmington as Florence threatens the coast

A radar map shows the outer bands of Florence begin to lash the North Carolina coast on Thursday evening

more videos

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

    • Watch video

      Man threatens students with gun to prevent them entering a building


    • Watch video

      Firefighters battle blaze in Lawrence after gas explosion


    • Watch video

      Hurricane Florence strengthens to Category 4 with winds up to 140mph


    • Watch video

      Serena Williams loses US Open final amid argument with umpire


    • Watch video

      Plane takes a trip inside eye of Hurricane Florence


    • Watch video

      Frying Pan Ocean cam captures Hurricane Florence out at sea


    • Watch video

      Pistorius: Documentary explores crime that shocked the world


    • Watch video

      Chaos erupts outside the courtroom after hearing for fatal stabbing


    • Watch video

      Irate Italian seaman chases down a group of tourists on a boat


    • Watch video

      Mark Wahlberg trains in gym and promotes nutrition brand on Twitter


    • Watch video

      Josie Russell speaks to Lorraine about finding her soul mate


    • Watch video

      Hurricane Florence coastal waves barge onto North Carolina shore

    All of North Carolina’s famed Outer Banks and barrier islands are under mandatory evacuation, though not all residents heeded the orders.

    In Wrightsville Beach, an island near Wilmington, Police Chief Dan House said a handful of residents on the island have refused evacuation orders. 

    He’s telling them they ‘better go ahead and give me your next of kin’ information, because no one will rescue them at the height of the storm. 

    In a flash bulletin at 11pm on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said that Florence was 50 miles south of Morehead City, North Carolina, and 60 miles southeast of Wilmington. 

    The storm had maximum sustained winds of 90mph and was moving northwest at six miles per hour.  

    Florence’s outer bands of wind and rain began lashing North Carolina on Thursday. 

    Its center will approach the coast later Thursday and make landfall around the North Carolina-South Carolina line.

    Jeff Egyp (left) marches along the Cape Fear River as Hurricane Florence hits Wilmington, North Carolina on Thursday

    A police car drives through an intersection after the traffic lights went out as rain falls in Wilmington on Thursday

    North Carolina felt the first bite of monster Hurricane Florence on Thursday morning as the outer bands of wind and rain from the life-threatening storm bore down on the US east coast

    more videos

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3

      • Watch video

        Man threatens students with gun to prevent them entering a building


      • Watch video

        Firefighters battle blaze in Lawrence after gas explosion


      • Watch video

        Hurricane Florence strengthens to Category 4 with winds up to 140mph


      • Watch video

        Serena Williams loses US Open final amid argument with umpire


      • Watch video

        Plane takes a trip inside eye of Hurricane Florence


      • Watch video

        Frying Pan Ocean cam captures Hurricane Florence out at sea


      • Watch video

        Pistorius: Documentary explores crime that shocked the world


      • Watch video

        Chaos erupts outside the courtroom after hearing for fatal stabbing


      • Watch video

        Irate Italian seaman chases down a group of tourists on a boat


      • Watch video

        Mark Wahlberg trains in gym and promotes nutrition brand on Twitter


      • Watch video

        Josie Russell speaks to Lorraine about finding her soul mate


      • Watch video

        Hurricane Florence coastal waves barge onto North Carolina shore

      Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center say the storm will weaken after landfall but also linger, dumping heavy rains for days.

      The National Hurricane Center says Florence could dump 20 to 30 inches of rain, with some places getting as much as 40 inches.

      Florence’s hurricane-force winds were blowing 80 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds reached up to 195 miles from the eye.

      Life-threatening storm surges of up to 11 feet were also forecast in some areas along with the possibility of tornadoes in North Carolina.

      In North Carolina, 150,000 homes had already lost power on Thursday night as heavy winds began to lash the coast, officials said. The top counties affected were Carteret, Craven, New Hanover, Onslow and Pamlico.

      Duke Energy said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.

      more videos

      • 1
      • 2
      • 3

        • Watch video

          Man threatens students with gun to prevent them entering a building


        • Watch video

          Firefighters battle blaze in Lawrence after gas explosion


        • Watch video

          Hurricane Florence strengthens to Category 4 with winds up to 140mph


        • Watch video

          Serena Williams loses US Open final amid argument with umpire


        • Watch video

          Plane takes a trip inside eye of Hurricane Florence


        • Watch video

          Frying Pan Ocean cam captures Hurricane Florence out at sea


        • Watch video

          Pistorius: Documentary explores crime that shocked the world


        • Watch video

          Chaos erupts outside the courtroom after hearing for fatal stabbing


        • Watch video

          Irate Italian seaman chases down a group of tourists on a boat


        • Watch video

          Mark Wahlberg trains in gym and promotes nutrition brand on Twitter


        • Watch video

          Josie Russell speaks to Lorraine about finding her soul mate


        • Watch video

          Hurricane Florence coastal waves barge onto North Carolina shore

        Marge Brown, 65, says goodbye to her father, George Brown, 90, before he is evacuated from a healthcare home in Morehead City, N.C., Wednesday as Hurricane Florence approaches the east coast. ‘I’d like to stay and see what happens. I’m 90 plus,’ said Brown, a WWII veteran who says he’s survived a plane crash and severe burns from a laboratory fire where he once worked

        People are seen inside a shelter run by Red Cross before Florence comes ashore in Grantsboro, North Carolina on Thursday

        Hurricane Florence evacuees try to rest inside a Red Cross shelter in Grantsboro, North Carolina on Thursday

        In Wilmington, Bertha Bradley said she has never favored evacuating ahead of hurricanes. Only one storm scared them enough to leave the island. But the traffic was awful.

        ‘I said, ‘Why get on the road like this? I’m going to get killed on the road,” Bradley said. ‘I should stay in my house, where I have water and food. If God’s coming for you, you can’t run from him.’ 

        In a trailer park outside Wilmington, Alondra Espinoza was preparing to leave with her two young children.

        ‘Everything is packed,’ Espinoza said. ‘I want to get them as far away as possible. I’ve been through hurricanes before but never with kids. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have minded staying here.’

        Their entire neighborhood evacuated in Wilmington, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter’s one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte. Unsure of what they might find when they return home, the couple went shopping for a recreational vehicle.

        ‘We’re just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time,’ David Garrigus said.

        Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is mostly empty as Hurricane Florence threatens the coast on Tuesday

        This image taken from video shows storm surge expert Hal Needham, on Thursday in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Even if a house is elevated 10 feet, ‘there’s a good chance there’s going to be water inside of it,’ Needham said

        more videos

        • 1
        • 2
        • 3

          • Watch video

            Man threatens students with gun to prevent them entering a building


          • Watch video

            Firefighters battle blaze in Lawrence after gas explosion


          • Watch video

            Hurricane Florence strengthens to Category 4 with winds up to 140mph


          • Watch video

            Serena Williams loses US Open final amid argument with umpire


          • Watch video

            Plane takes a trip inside eye of Hurricane Florence


          • Watch video

            Frying Pan Ocean cam captures Hurricane Florence out at sea


          • Watch video

            Pistorius: Documentary explores crime that shocked the world


          • Watch video

            Chaos erupts outside the courtroom after hearing for fatal stabbing


          • Watch video

            Irate Italian seaman chases down a group of tourists on a boat


          • Watch video

            Mark Wahlberg trains in gym and promotes nutrition brand on Twitter


          • Watch video

            Josie Russell speaks to Lorraine about finding her soul mate


          • Watch video

            Hurricane Florence coastal waves barge onto North Carolina shore

          Melody Rawson evacuated her first-floor apartment in Myrtle Beach and arrived at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, to camp for free with three other adults, her disabled son, two dogs and a pet bird. 

          ‘We hope to have something left when we get home,’ she said.

          Hog farmers along the East Coast were scrambling earlier this week to drain their waste pools ahead of the storm. Hog farms each have open-air ‘lagoons’ filled with manure – which turn bright pink due to the bacteria festering in the lagoons.

          If the rivers break their banks, or lagoons overflow, affecting local waterways, which could damage to local environment and put drinking water sources and public health at risk. 

          Waves crash around the Oceana Pier in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina as the outer edges of Hurricane Florence being to affect the coast on Thursday

          Huge waves lashed the beaches of North Carolina as the hurricane rolling in bringing heavy rain

          Flooding could also lead to the deaths of thousands of animals if they cannot be evacuated in time.

          Marlowe Vaughan of Ivy Spring Creek Farm in Goldsboro, spent most of Tuesday pumping liquid waste from her lagoons to make more room for incoming rainfall.

          ‘We try to pump down as much as we can, but after that, it’s kind of in God’s hands. We’re kind of at the mercy of the storm.’

          A private weather-forecasting firm is estimating that Hurricane Florence will cause $50 billion to $60 billion in economic damages.  

          more videos

          • 1
          • 2
          • 3

            • Watch video

              Man threatens students with gun to prevent them entering a building


            • Watch video

              Firefighters battle blaze in Lawrence after gas explosion


            • Watch video

              Hurricane Florence strengthens to Category 4 with winds up to 140mph


            • Watch video

              Serena Williams loses US Open final amid argument with umpire


            • Watch video

              Plane takes a trip inside eye of Hurricane Florence


            • Watch video

              Frying Pan Ocean cam captures Hurricane Florence out at sea


            • Watch video

              Pistorius: Documentary explores crime that shocked the world


            • Watch video

              Chaos erupts outside the courtroom after hearing for fatal stabbing


            • Watch video

              Irate Italian seaman chases down a group of tourists on a boat


            • Watch video

              Mark Wahlberg trains in gym and promotes nutrition brand on Twitter


            • Watch video

              Josie Russell speaks to Lorraine about finding her soul mate


            • Watch video

              Hurricane Florence coastal waves barge onto North Carolina shore

            Drone footage and dashcam show eerily quiet Myrtle Beach as coastal cities are deserted after 1.7 million people are told to flee Hurricane Florence

            By Rory Tingle for DailyMail.com

            The popular resort city of Myrtle Beach in South Carolina should be bustling with late-summer tourists, but its streets and sidewalks are eerily quiet, and the Ferris wheel in the seaside amusement park lies still. 

            Drone and dashcam video shows many of the city’s 32,000 residents have already left before Hurricane Florence, joining 300,000 fellow South Carolinians who followed evacuation orders issued on Wednesday to 1.7 million people.

            The mandatory orders applied to most of the South Carolina coast and parts of North Carolina and Virginia.

            ‘Myrtle Beach is like a ghost town. We’ve only lived here three years but we have friends that have lived here their entire life and have never experienced or seen the town so eerie,’ on resident, Rodger Maybey, told Stuff.

            Drone video taken on Wednesday evening in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, shows the usually bustling city is virtually deserted 

            Many of the city’s residents appear to have joined the 300,000 South Carolinians that evacuated on Wednesday 

            Florence weakened to a category two hurricane over Wednesday night, but forecasters warned it still posed the threat of 110mph winds, a life-threatening storm surge and torrential rains. 

            The center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and South Carolina on Thursday, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern South Carolina on Thursday night and Friday. 

            In Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, all residents had to leave by 8pm on Wednesday, otherwise there would not be any emergency services assistance provided to them.

            Caroline Ciener spent the day boarding up her parent’s house. ‘We are boarding up today,’ she told ABC11.

            ‘It’s hot. It’s not fun but it’s all we can do at this point we are just trying to get everything out of the bottom of the garage as we are sure there is going to be water.’

            Officials are predicting Florence could cause $170 billion in property damage, but many businesses are already suffering an economic hit from the loss of business.

            Dashcam video from Myrtle Beach (also taken on Wednesday) were largely deserted apart from a few news vans

            The same was true for many coastal areas in the Carolinas and Virginia on Wednesday and Thursday morning, after 1.7 million people were ordered to evacuate. Pictured: Myrtle Beach

            Chapel Hill has been hit by the closure of the University of North Carolina, with its 55,600 staff and students ordered to evacuate and the first football game of the year called off. 

            The cancellation of the game alone will take away $8 million in potential economic benefit from the local areas.

            ‘With the campus closed and the football game cancelled, there’s a lot of anxiety at local businesses,’ local chamber of commerce CEO Aaron Nelson told CBS. 

            ‘UNC only has about six home games every season and losing one of those is a really big deal.’ 

            The historic port city of Charleston, South Carolina, saw heavy flooding during Tropical Storm Irma last year, and officials are warning the impact of Florence is expected to be worse. 

            Many of the city’s residents had gone by Wednesday, joining 300,000 of their fellow South Carolinians also fleeing that day. 

            Many of the residents of Charleston had gone by Wednesday, joining 300,000 of their fellow South Carolinians also fleeing that day.

            Charleston (pictured on Wednesday night) saw heavy flooding during Tropical Storm Irma last year, and officials are warning the impact of Florence is expected to be worse

            Source: Read Full Article