Former Winnipegger living in path of Hurricane Florence describes chaos, uncertainty as storm approaches
Krystle Parsons says evacuation order has led to gas shortages, made Myrtle Beach a 'ghost town'
Former Winnipegger Krystle Parsons is fleeing the path of Hurricane Florence with her four children, but has to leave her firefighter husband behind.
The Category 3 storm is expected to slam into U.S. East Coast Thursday through Friday, with wind speeds of 225 km/h.
Millions of residents have been told to leave their homes, with the state of Georgia declaring a state of emergency and officials in North and South Carolina urging people to evacuate the coast ahead of the storm.
Parsons now lives with her family in Myrtle Beach, S.C., a coastal city which she describes as a "ghost town" after many people have left to get out of the way of the storm.
The rush to evacuate the city led to gas shortages in recent days, with long lines to fill up, she said.
"Some people had to go to four, five, six different gas stations because they're just running out of gas," she said.
Parsons is planning on taking her children to stay with her in-laws on the west side of North Carolina, hoping that will be far enough to get away from the storm.
But her husband is a firefighter, so he'll have to stay put to help with rescue efforts.
That's been the hardest part, Parsons said.
"It's the uncertainty of not knowing things, having to just leave your spouse behind and just hope. It's awful," she said.
"You want to keep your family together in these kind of times."
'It's just mind-blowing'
Parsons and her family lived through Hurricane Matthew in 2016, which hit South Carolina as Category 1 storm.
"That one was scary enough," she said.
"We lost power for about two weeks. The winds were very, very scary.
"It's just mind-blowing. You don't know what to do. All you can do is hope for the best."
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper was trying to convince everyone in the path of the hurricane to flee Wednesday.
"Disaster is at the doorstep and it's coming in," Cooper said at a Wednesday morning news conference in Raleigh, the state capital.
"If you are on the coast, there is still time to get out safely. No possessions are worth your life."
The National Hurricane Center's projected track had Florence hovering off the southern coast of North Carolina from Thursday night until landfall Saturday morning or so, about a day later than previously expected.
The track also shifted somewhat south and west, throwing Georgia into peril as Florence moves inland.
With files from Radio Noon and The Associated Press