LeRoy, Chili natives now living in N. Carolina brace for Hurricane Florence

(Provided photo)

Wilmington, N.C./Rochester, N.Y. - As Hurricane Florence continues to move closer to landfall, several people formerly of the Rochester area that now living where the eye of the storm is heading, are bracing for what's to come.

Maureen Weinman from LeRoy has to stay for her job at a shelter, and Macaylah Arieno from Chili is getting ready to evacuate as the hurricane approaches Wilmington, North Carolina.

Weinman moved from LeRoy to Wilmington four years ago.

She says she's never seen the stores so empty.

“It’s really more of a frenzy before the storm. Everyone has hurricane fever right now,” said Weinman.

She's been through Hurricane Matthew, a category one.

But Florence is now a category four, with winds up to 140 mph.

“I can’t even comprehend that. I’m from upstate New York, where it’s like ‘Snow storms!’ But this is a lot different from anything having experienced thus far, up there or down here.”

She’ll be working at an animal shelter Tuesday night, but plans to leave after work before the hurricane makes landfall. The eye is expected to pass where she lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.

“Power lines are going to be down, trees – expecting up to 30 inches of standing rain, so it’s going to be crazy,” said Weinman.

Like Weinman, Macaylah Arieno from Chili does not know what to expect.

The Wilmington area is under a mandatory evacuation.

“It’s actually really terrifying,” said Arieno. “We’re so used to blizzards and snow days, but yesterday at my school they set of the evacuation alarms to let everybody know we have to get off campus.”

Arieno and Weinman both worry about trees and telephone poles snapping in the wind, and what they will find when they return after the storm.

“Basically, we’re just going to pray and hope the house doesn’t get blown out,” Arieno added.

Widespread flooding and heavy rainfall is anticipated with Florence across the Carolinas. 1.5 million people have been ordered to evacuate.

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