• Hurricane Florence updates: Gas stations run dry in parts of South Carolina

    By: Kevin Williams , Melonie Holt

    Updated:

    CENTRAL FLORIDA - While the worst of Hurricane Florence is predicted to miss Florida, the major hurricane will still cause a ripple effect up and down the East Coast.

    Eye On The Tropics: Hurricane coverage you can count on

    These are live updates about how the storm is affecting Floridians and our beaches as well as coverage from Channel 9's Steve Barrett who is in South Carolina.
     


    Hurricane Florence aiming at the Carolinas; catastrophic threats, flooding storm surge

    East Coast beach conditions: Wave heights & winds

    Download: Free WFTV weather app to receive weather, lightning alerts


    8:30 p.m. Wednesday

    Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas -- which was diverted to Port Canaveral Wednesday morning and was originally scheduled to leave Thursday afternoon -- is now scheduled to depart Friday morning, Port Canaveral officials said.

    No other ships are scheduled to be diverted to Port Canaveral.

     

    10:45 p.m. Tuesday

    On Tuesday evening, Channel 9's Steve Barrett traveled to Charleston Harbor in South Carolina, which took a major hit from Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

    That storm piled up boats, obliterated homes and destroyed two bridges in the area.

    During the drive to South Carolina, Barrett spotted trucks filled with generators, tree service companies and several convoys of power company trucks.

    Many gas stations have run dry in parts of South Carolina.

     

    6 p.m. Tuesday

    Hurricane Florence won't make landfall anywhere near Central Florida, but Brevard County officials are still bracing for the storm.

    "Anytime we have activity in the Atlantic like this, we're expecting rip currents, erosion and any other high surf situations," said Chief Eisen Witcher, of Brevard County Ocean Rescue.

    The rip current risks are expected to be high all week, so there will be more lifeguards on duty throughout the week.

    "We've lived here for 10 years. We've learned to watch for the current if it gets too strong. We won't go in," beachgoer Angela Albaiz said.

    On Monday, a 10-year-old boy got caught up in a strong current at Playalinda Beach. Although he survived, 24-year-old Jonathan Romero, who tried to rescue the boy, died. Click here for information about a GoFundMe account set up to pay for his funeral expenses.

    "You don't want to underestimate the rip currents that are out here," Witcher said. "It can happen quickly. Any little break in the sandbar can cause rip currents and cause a quick outflow of water."

    Brevard County Natural Resources Management said it remains cautiously optimistic about the risk of beach erosion. The county and its partners maintained all of the 35-mile shoreline managed by the county between December 2017 and April 2018 by bringing in sand and vegetation.

     

    Tuesday 5:15 p.m.

    Two cruise ships have been diverted to Port Canaveral as the Atlantic cruise lines closely watch Hurricane Florence.

    The Norwegian Escape brought 4,000 passengers back to dry land as their itinerary shifts from Bermuda to the Bahamas.

    The Norwegian Escape is rerouted to Port Canaveral to avoid the brunt of Hurricane Florence.

    Norwegian is also rerouting a Baltimore-based ship to Port Canaveral Tuesday.

    Download: Free WFTV weather app to receive weather, lightning alerts

    Tuesday 4:45 p.m.

    Channel 9’s Steve Barrett and photographer Mateo Bachini are en route to Myrtle Beach to show you first hand the impact Hurricane Florence will bring to the Carolinas.

    Steve says he’s already seen emergency and power crews heading north on I-95.

    Watch his report from the road below: 

     

    WATCH: Live coverage from sister station WSOC in Charlotte, NC

    Tuesday 1:30 p.m.

    More than 1,000 Duke Energy Florida crews will head to the Carolinas to assist in storm preparedness and recovery, the company said.

    The contractors, line workers, tree professionals, damage assessment and support personnel. 

    Hurricane Florence: Those who have lived through storms offer their advice
     

    Tuesday 1 p.m.

    Because of the incoming hurricane, UCF will not play its scheduled football game against the University of North Carolina, which was scheduled for Saturday in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

    The team said it is possible that the game will not be rescheduled.

    "The priority must be safety for everyone in the path of the hurricane," said UCF Vice President and Director of Athletics Danny White. "Having been through similar situations the past two years, we certainly understand this decision. We wish UNC the best of luck through this storm and for the rest of the year.”


    WATCH: Live coverage from sister station WSOC in Charlotte, NC

    Tuesday 10 a.m.

    It is unlikely Central Florida will be directly affected by Florence, although Atlantic beaches may see large swells. The high risk for rip currents is already present along the East Coast and will likely to continue through the week.

     


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