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‘Flo away’; Americans in path of Hurricane Florence have a few choice words for the storm

Hurricane Florence intensifies as it approaches US coast
WATCH: Weather forecasters estimate Hurricane Florence will be a category 4 by the time it makes landfall Friday. The Governor of Florida has asked local residents to evacuate as soon as possible.

Americans in the path of Hurricane Florence are preparing for the storm by boarding up houses and local businesses, but not without giving “Flo” a piece of their minds.

READ MORE: Why Hurricane Florence’s storm surge could be its greatest threat

As of 11 a.m. ET Wednesday, Florence is a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm, centred 785 kilometres southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving at 2.4 km/h. Wind speeds currently sit at 215 km/h.

In addition, buckling down to prepare for the coming landfall, those threatened by the storm are posting messages of solidarity, good humour, and pleas for prayers on boarded-up buildings.

Beau Venaziano enjoys a beverage at Chicho’s, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, in Virginia Beach, Va., before the arrival of Hurricane Florence.
Beau Venaziano enjoys a beverage at Chicho’s, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, in Virginia Beach, Va., before the arrival of Hurricane Florence. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“Go Away Flo” appears to be the most popular phrase being plastered across wooden boards from South Carolina to Virginia.

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A man walks past a boarded-up store before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, U.S., September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
A man walks past a boarded-up store before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, U.S., September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Many, however, didn’t lose their sense of humour amid the panic.

A reporter works on her story in front a boarded up store before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, U.S., September 12, 2018.
A reporter works on her story in front a boarded up store before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, U.S., September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

“Grab Beer – run like hell. Go home Flo,” is written in black spray paint across several boards covering store windows in Wrightsville Beach, N.C.

Evacuation orders have been issued for North and South Carolina as well as Virginia. Over one million people along the coastline have been ordered to evacuate.

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Schools and factories have been shut down, and many businesses are temporarily shutting their doors.

However, evacuating has proven difficult for those who live in Florence’s path. Airlines have cancelled most flights and gas for vehicles is hard to come by.

Boarded up windows are seen ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina, U.S., September 12, 2018.
Boarded up windows are seen ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina, U.S., September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Keane
A man passes graffiti reading “Pray for Wilmington” on a business boarded up for the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina, U.S. September 12, 2018.
A man passes graffiti reading “Pray for Wilmington” on a business boarded up for the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina, U.S. September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Ernest Scheyder

Many have also taken to posting their messages on social media.

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Christine Lyons posted a photo of her nine-year-old daughter Bella’s contribution, who wanted to help even though she is sick with pneumonia. CNN reports that the sign, drawn with a dozen different colours of marker, currently hangs on the front door of their family home.

“The kiddo is out of commission with pneumonia. So her help during our hurricane preparation is limited. This was her contribution,” the post read.

Heather Samson, owner of Beach Beads and Glass Studio, uses spray paint to leave messages on hurricane shutters at her business ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, U.S., September 11, 2018.
Heather Samson, owner of Beach Beads and Glass Studio, uses spray paint to leave messages on hurricane shutters at her business ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, U.S., September 11, 2018. REUTERS/Randall Hill

Florence is currently the most dangerous of three tropical storms in the Atlantic. Tropical storm Isaac was expected to pass south of Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Cuba, while Hurricane Helene was moving north, away from land. Forecasters warn that the coastal surge from Florence could leave the eastern tip of North Carolina under almost three metres of water in some spots.

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The hurricane is expected to strengthen through Wednesday night and approach the coast of North or South Carolina on either Thursday or Friday, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) in its latest advisory.

–With files from the Canadian Press.