The long big slosh known as Florence has begun, with days of rainfall totaling three feet or more, and a storm surge of ocean water expected to rise to more than 12 feet near the center of the storm.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said some are getting complacent because Florence has been downgraded to a Category 2 but he warns the state is not getting a break, and this remains a powerful storm that can kill.
Kathi Neil from Aitken, Minnesota now lives in North Carolina and said the tension of the situation appears to be getting to some people and, “Some people are getting very anxious and not being courteous of others, and cutting them off and people trying to buy stuff, they’re being rude, ‘Well I saw it first.'”
Neil added that price gouging for gasoline is taking place and some places are running out of gas.
Today is the last chance for residents in the path of the hurricane to evacuate, but Neil is planning to stay put, “It gets really strong, we’ve had some hurricanes, and I mean it sounds horrible. You’re–I mean I’ve never actually from Minnesota been in a tornado, where you hear that sound, I mean it’s constant here when the wind is going.”
Meanwhile, 22 American Red Cross volunteers from Minnesota have already been deployed–and more will likely be on their way.
Red Cross spokeswoman Carrie Carlson-Guest said, “We know that this is a very large storm and we know that we’re going to be sending a number of people from across the country, but our Red Cross volunteers from Minnesota are on standby and ready to help wherever needed.”
She also had a message for Minnesotans with friends and family in the Carolinas, and said, “Please encourage them to get prepared. they can download the free red cross emergency app. That will help them find resources as needed, it also has great preparedness tips and first aid information on there.”
Carlson-Guest said Minnesotans who want to help in other ways can do so by donating money or blood to the Red Cross.