The Red Cross and local wholesalers asked the Anheuser-Busch facility in Cartersville to help prepare communities threatened by the torrential rain and flooding that Florence is likely to bring when it makes landfall, according to a news release.
The South Carolina National Guard, along with the American Red Cross and local partners will distribute the six truckloads of water Anheuser-Busch said it will be providing to assist in disaster efforts.
This is not the first time the Cartersville facility has paused beer production in order to can drinking water. The company said it has a long-standing tradition of providing emergency drinking water and supplies for disaster relief efforts in partnership with the American Red Cross.
The news came the same day Anheuser-Busch announced that its brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado, would also be prepared to shift gears and can drinking water.
“For the last 30 years, we have been working with the American Red Cross and our wholesaler partners to provide clean, safe drinking water for communities hit by natural disasters,” said Michel Doukeris, CEO of Anheuser-Busch, according to a news release.
Doukeris added that earlier this year the company had made plans to expand operations at the Colorado brewery and that “doubling our production capacity” to produce more drinking water for disaster relief would “help our fellow Americans in times of need.”
American Red Cross Chief Operating Officer Cliff Holtz commented on years of collaboration with the beer producer, saying that the two “have worked together for over three decades to help provide clean, safe drinking water for communities hit by natural disasters, totaling more than 79 million cans of water to help people in need.”
Hurricane Florence Forecasts
According to some forecasts, Florence is predicted to slow down and stall off the coast of North and South Carolina before moving around off the shore on Sept. 14, Sept. 15, and Sept. 16.
Then the storm is slated to affect Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, and Kentucky before moving north, according to the National Hurricane Center’s forecasting model.
As Hurricane #Florence makes landfall — or tries to very slowly — the rainfall will add up quickly across the Carolinas but also Virginia …
I'd bet on maximum totals > 30" in many counties … forecast totals from the adjacent states near landfall around 17 trillion gallons. pic.twitter.com/xcfio0u1fA
— Ryan Maue | weathermodels.com (@RyanMaue) September 13, 2018
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that between 20 and 30 inches of rain could fall in some areas.
U.S. weather officials said Florence weakened to a Category 2 storm, but the storm, according to NASA in a blog post on Sept. 12, is still more than 400 miles in diameter.
Emergency declarations were in force in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
Emergency preparations included activating more than 2,700 National Guard troops, stockpiling food, setting up shelters, switching traffic patterns so major roads led away from shore, and securing 16 nuclear power reactors in the Carolinas and Virginia.
The U.S. Coast Guard said it closed the ports of Wilmington and Moorehead City in North Carolina and restricted port operations in Charleston, South Carolina. All seven of North Carolina’s ferry routes were shut down.
Utility officials have warned that widespread power outages are likely and that it could take weeks to restore electricity.
In all, an estimated 10 million people live in areas expected to be placed under a hurricane or storm advisory, according to the U.S. Weather Prediction Center.
More than 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate the coastlines of the Carolinas and Virginia.
Reuters contributed to this report.