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FEMA official: Hurricane Florence will cause 'massive damage,' including potential loss of life
Hurricane Florence will cause "massive damage" when it makes landfall this week and fatalities are possible, an official with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said Tuesday.
Jeffrey Byard, FEMA's associate administrator for response and recovery, stressed during a news conference Tuesday that citizens living on the coast in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia should take action to heed local and state warnings.
"I want to impress the importance of our citizens to take action now," he said. "This is a dangerous storm. This storm will and has the potential to cause loss of life."
Byard said Florence is the strongest storm to target the Carolinas and "this part of our country" in decades. He added that there is currently nothing projected to weaken the storm and the region will experience power outages, infrastructure damage and damage to homes.
"This will be a storm that creates and causes massive damage to our country," he said, adding that significant inland flooding is expected in states including Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Hurricane Florence on Monday developed into a Category 4 storm and it has the potential to become a Category 5 before making landfall, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm is expected to reach the East Coast later this week.
Residents in some parts of the three states under warning have been ordered to evacuate ahead of the storm. Additionally, the governors of each of those states have declared state of emergencies, and President Trump on Monday declared a state of emergency in North Carolina and South Carolina.