MIAMI (AP) – With a half-million people ordered to evacuate, Florida’s northbound interstates are jam-packed as residents are fleeing Hurricane Irma. Many grocery and home improvement stores remained open across South Florida on Friday morning for anyone seeking last minute hurricane supplies, though items like bottled water and plywood were in short supply. Gas stations continue to bounce between having long lines or no gasoline.
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) – Great uncertainty remained Friday about Hurricane Irma’s path beyond Florida with forecasts showing potential storm impacts from portions of the Carolinas and Alabama as well as the entirety of Georgia, a state that’s become an escape route for hundreds of thousands of evacuees. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal noted Irma’s unpredictability at a news conference in Atlanta Friday after the National Hurricane Center nudged the storm’s predicted track significantly westward.
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua (AP) – Dutch marines have dropped flyers from a helicopter warning beleaguered inhabitants on the devastated nation of St. Maarten to head to shelters as Hurricane Jose barrels through the Caribbean. Jose, a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds, was forecast to pass close to St. Maarten over the weekend, delivering a second damaging blow to the former Dutch colony that suffered catastrophic damage when Category 5 Hurricane Irma slammed into it on Wednesday.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina’s governor has ordered the evacuation of seven barrier islands, including Hilton Head Island, because they could be inby Hurricane Irma. Gov. Henry McMaster said Friday that 4 to 6 feet of storm surge is possible on the islands in the southern part of the state even though the center of Irma is forecast to move 200 miles to the west. With about 40,000 residents, Hilton Head Island is by far the largest island evacuated.
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