Millions on US East Coast brace for 'extremely dangerous' Hurricane Florence

Florence's path: Track the tropical depression here

Hurricane Florence will be the biggest threat out of all these tropical systems, now a major category 4 Hurricane with sustained winds of 140 miles per hour, moving west-northwest towards southeasten United States of America, with landfall expected along the Carolinas sometime on Thursday.

Packing winds of up to 220 km/h (140 mph) late Monday, Florence was expected to further strengthen and become "an extremely unsafe major hurricane" by the time in makes landfall in the Carolinas on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in a 21:00 UTC update.

Residents along the coast of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland are preparing for the storm's arrival, which is predicted for Thursday. Its center will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ordered a mandatory evacuation of most of the state's coast beginning at noon on Tuesday.

"This is still a very unsafe storm", South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said at a Tuesday news conference.

According to the National Weather Service, other evacuations along the Outer Banks will go into effect on Tuesday.

The HuffPost reports‚ "televangelist Pat Robertson broke out a prayer that sounded more like a wizard's spell as he attempted to block the approach of Hurricane Florence".


North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference his state was in "the bull's eye".

By 5 a.m., the hurricane was about 975 miles out from Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west at about 15 mph.

"Well over a foot of rain over a large chunk of real estate in the Carolinas and they had above normal rainfall this year, so the ground is saturated", said Chandley. "Florence has rapidly intensified into an extremely risky hurricane", Blake wrote Monday evening, predicting that the hurricane's top sustained winds would approach the 157 miles per hour (253 kph) threshold for a wost-case Category 5 scenario. "So, for those not in emergency critical scenarios, it is asked that they evacuate", Bluffton Township Fire District spokesman Lee Levesque said.

For many, the challenge could be finding a safe refuge.

John McGowan, a resident of a town just west of Wilmington, said Tuesday he planned on staying through the storm - but filled his vehicle with gas in case he changes his mind. She said it was built in 2009 in Buxton, North Carolina, up on a ridge, and made to withstand a hurricane. One North Carolina county has already issued a mandatory evacuation order, and locals throughout the region have cleared supermarket shelves of bottled water.

Coastal areas of North Carolina began evacuating on Monday, with a second wave at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

"Right now we are just coordinating our internal resources, making sure all of those are ready and all of our assets are ready for deployment if need be", he said. That's prompted criticism from some on social media who've said they faced change fees and fare differences as they attempted to change flights to deal with the storm.

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