More than 1.5 million people have been asked to evacuate their homes along the Virginia, North and SC coasts as Category 5 storm Hurricane Florence approaches, an official said.
If Florence hits North Carolina as a Category 4 storm, it will be the strongest storm to make landfall in the state since Hurricane Hazel in 1954.
While the hurricane is expected to weaken as it begins to interact with land before making landfall, Florence will remain a risky major hurricane as it approaches the East Coast, officials said.
More people were expected at arrive at more emergency shelters as the latest forecasts showed Hurricane Florence taking aim at the Carolinas Wednesday morning.
A photo of George Brown, 90, is pinned to his shirt along with personal information before he is evacuated with fellow residents from a healthcare home in Morehead City, N.C., on Wednesday as Hurricane Florence approaches the east coast.
Even so, the NHC does not say sustained winds above 40 miles per hour are likely in North Florida, giving it less than a 20 percent probability in the forecast map update at 2 a.m. today.
This story was originally published about the threat of storm surge posed by Hurricane Irma.
"This is not going to be a glancing blow", warned Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"We could get some rain and gusty winds".
So far during in 2018 Atlantic hurricane season there have been nine tropical storms, of which five - Beryl, Chris, Helen, Isaac and Florence - have become hurricanes.
Emlaw explained that there is a wide range of possibilities in rainfall amounts in the Lowcountry because no one knows whether the storm will stall offshore or move inland.
"If you don't have a plan in place, you still have time to do something", Jones said.
In a videotaped message from the White House, US President Donald Trump said the government is fully prepared for Florence but urged people to "get out of its way".
"I'm scared we'll get 30 inches or more of rain", said Carol Trojniar, 69, a longtime Wilmington resident and retired real estate agent who has never experienced a Category 4 hurricane. But despite that, bad things can happen when you're talking about a storm this size.
"This storm is a monster", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.
It will strike with torrential rains, powerful winds and potentially devastating flooding.
Typhoon Mangkhut is estimated to have caused $250 million worth of damage to the Phillipines with rice and corn crops bearing the brunt of the storm.
The coastal surge from Florence could leave the eastern tip of North Carolina under more than 3 metres of water in spots, projections showed.
The number of people told to evacuate in the Carolinas and Virginia has been estimated at more than 1 million, according to an NPR report. A steady stream of vehicles filled with people and belongings is moving inland.
Florence is expected to bring tropical storm conditions to North Carolina and SC on Thursday and hurricane conditions on Friday . And the more it hovers just off shore - a distinct possibility - the more potentially deadly storm surge it pushes on-shore.
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State officials and the National Weather Service warned the storm's weakening only relates to wind speed, not surges or flooding. Heavy rains were forecast to extend into the Appalachians, affecting parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.
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