WASHINGTON, D.C.—Hurricane Florence bears down on the Eastern seaboard with projections of heavy rains and storm surges. As of Sept. 12, 2 p.m. EDT, CNN says the storm is roughly 435 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina boasting maximum sustained winds of 125 mph.
Along with high winds, the National Hurricane Center's Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch says it's measured waves as tall as 83 feet “produced by being trapped along with very strong winds moving in the same direction the storm's motion.” With the severity and strength of the hurricane, states of emergency are effective in the Carolinas, Virginia, and Maryland. Georgia followed suit on Sept. 12 with an emergency declaration by Governor Nathan Deal for all 159 counties in the state. As the storm closes in, Printwear checked in with a couple of industry professionals to see how they were preparing or reacting to the news in their areas.
Allen Wesson, Texsource Screen Printing Supply, says while the Kings Mountain, North Carolina-based company hopes to remain open, they are aware of the possibility of flooding and power outages. Providing conditions permit, Wesson adds that the company will continue normal operations, and in the event that changes they will update their website and social media pages.
“Everything really depends on the track of the hurricane,” explains Wesson. “If it heads directly toward us (as it pretty much is now) we are expecting the worst of it. If it were to head northward even a bit, then the worst effects would likely miss us.”
In South Carolina, Chris Bernat, Vapor Apparel, says the Charleston-based company is closed for the balance of the week with both UPS and FedEx halting shipping options on Monday. Vapor is still currently shipping from its Union, South Carolina facility for some products.
“Our 50,000 square-foot facility in Union is our hurricane contingency plan,” adds Bernat, adding that while they hope to bring Charleston back online on Monday, the safety of staff and families is the main priority. “Vapor Apparel was started in a Charleston garage 14 years ago and has grown every year since. Hurricane Florence is not going to change our track record of success. Our customers can count on us on Monday morning.”
Elsewhere in South Carolina, Robin Kavanaugh, Sawgrass Technologies, says she’s heeding the warnings from state officials. “I am evacuating, myself, as I am in the Myrtle Beach area,” says Kavanaugh. “I believe the Sawgrass offices are secured for the storm and will reopen when it is safe.”
While the storm has yet to make landfall in the U.S., the National Weather Service has already activated hurricane warnings and plans to issue an updated announcement 8:30 p.m. EDT.
Do you have information on how you’re preparing for the storm? Contact us and let us know your story.