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Closed ports, lost power: How storm could hurt area economy

FILE- In this Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, file photo a man walks out of the boarded up Robert's Grocery in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., in preparation for Hurricane Florence. Though it’s far from clear how much economic havoc Hurricane Florence will inflict on the southeastern coast, from South Carolina through Virginia, the damage won’t be easily or quickly overcome. In those states, critically important industries like tourism and agriculture are sure to suffer. “These storms can be very disruptive to regional economies, and it takes time for them to recover,” said Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. (Matt Born/The Star-News via AP, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ports are closing. Farmers are moving hogs to high ground. Dealers are moving cars into service bays for refuge. And up to 3 million energy customers in North and South Caroline could lose power for weeks.

Across the Carolinas and parts of Virginia, businesses are bracing for the economic damage Hurricane Florence is expected to inflict on the area. Industries like tourism and agriculture will likely suffer, and the losses won’t be easily or quickly overcome.

Once it makes landfill, Florence is expected to lash coastal communities with 130-mph winds and to dump several feet of water. Flooding could prove devastating. The storm will likely damage homes and businesses, kill crops, drown livestock, wash away cars and suspend much of the area’s economic activity.

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