Ports across the East Coast of the United States are bracing for the impact of Hurricane Florence – expected to make landfall later this week – with early estimates suggesting the potential economic impact for lost sales in the consumer/retail sector will total US$700m.

Threatening to become the most intense storm to strike the region in at least 25 years since Hugo, Florence is drawing closer to the coast of the Carolinas with forecasts generally projecting the storm to make landfall in Southeast North Carolina on Friday (14 September) as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane.

“This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast, and that’s saying a lot given the impacts we’ve seen from hurricanes Diana, Hugo, Fran, Bonnie, Floyd, and Matthew,” said a statement from the National Weather Service national headquarters. “I can’t emphasise enough the potential for unbelievable damage from wind, storm surge, and inland flooding with this storm.”

The National Hurricane Centre warns of life-threating storm surge and rainfall to portions of the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic states.

Residents from South Carolina to Maryland are currently under a State of Emergency, with more than 1m consumers given evacuation orders.

Meanwhile, business weather intelligence company Planalytics  last night (11 September) said Florence is predicted to result in lost sales in the consumer/retail sector of $700m.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

In a tweet on Monday, the South Carolina Ports Authority said it continues to closely monitor Hurricane Florence and is currently observing normal operating hours at all of its facilities, while an update posted on the Port of Virginia website yesterday afternoon said tropical storm force winds are expected to impact South-eastern Virginia late on Wednesday and throughout Thursday.

The US Coast Guard (USCG) was due to close the main shipping channel at 6am this morning.

Imports at major US retail container ports are currently riding high as retailers bring record amounts of merchandise into the country ahead of new tariffs on products from China.

Florence comes a year after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which hit consumer/retail sector sales to the tune of $1bn and $1.45bn respectively.