The storm is expected to hit the southern East Coast of the US, with more than 1 million people facing mandatory evacuation orders in North and South Carolina, as well as Virginia, especially on the aftermath of the devastating impacts of last year's hurricane season along the country.

Meanwhile, several major cruise lines announced modifications of their planned routes for safety reasons.

Mariners are advised to move boats to safe haven and finish your family emergency preparations and plans before the storm impacts your area. Ensure trailers and boats are secured above likely flood areas. Remove all EPIRBs, life rings, lifejackets and loose items. Ensure the boat is tied securely to the trailer.

Florence is expected to yield tropical storm force winds as early as Wednesday evening. Coast Guard cutters, aircraft and boats will be strategically positioned outside the projected path of the hurricane to protect resources and all non-essential personnel will be evacuated.

Coast Guard assistance may not be available during the storm and immediately following while we reconstitute our boat stations, aircraft, and cutters.

In the immediate aftermath, the Coast Guard’s priorities are safety of life for those in distress, reopening the ports to facilitate recovery operations and the flow of commerce, and assessing and mitigating environmental damage.

NOAA is currently reporting that Jacksonville and surrounding areas can anticipate stronger rip currents and dangerous surf conditions along the beaches. The public should monitor the progress and strength of Hurricane Florence through local television, radio and internet. Boaters can monitor its progress on VHF radio channel 16.

Even though Jacksonville will not experience strong winds the beaches and Intracoastal Waterway can still pose a significant threat to mariners and beach goers,

...said Cmdr. Luis Parrales, deputy commander of Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville.

  • For information on Hurricane Florence’s progress and hurricane preparedness, visit the National Hurricane Center’s webpage.
  • People in distress should use 911 to request assistance whenever possible.
  • Social media should not be used to report life-threatening distress due to limited resources to monitor the dozens of social media platforms during a hurricane or large-scale rescue event.