Area natives residing in the Carolinas are preparing for Hurricane Florence, expected to make landfall as early as today.
Meriden natives Steve and Barbara Robichaud left their home in New Bern, North Carolina, Wednesday afternoon after a mandatory evacuation notice was issued.
Robichaud and his wife moved to North Carolina last October. He said officials have also closed roads into town.
“We know that there are some people that have stayed,” Steve Robichaud said.
The National Hurricane Center is predicting 20 to 30 inches of rain in North Carolina, with some spots expected to receive up to 40 inches.
The storm is expected to slow, stall and then perhaps wander just off the Carolina shore as it nears the coast today, Friday and Saturday.
“This is a horrific nightmare storm from a meteorological perspective," University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd said. "We've just never seen anything like this. ... This is just a strange bird.”
Robichaud said he will stay in Archdale, North Carolina, for up to four days due to the city’s high elevation. He said he is certain New Burn will lose power, but hopes the damage is minimal.
“Once flooding recedes, getting power back on and accessibility of the roads are probably going to be the biggest deterrent,” Robichaud said.
Karen Thimbel, a Wallingford native, said she has decided to weather the storm in her Charleston, South Carolina, home. She said that some of her neighbors left, but others decided to stay.
“We’re just being really careful because we’re not sure of the path (of the storm),” Thimbel said.
Thimbel said the city has opened public parking garages for residents to avoid the risk of cars being swept away in floods. She said she has propane, flashlights and a battery-powered radio in preparation for the storm.
“Nobody knows for sure where it’s going to hit,” Thimbel said.
*Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.