Hurricane Florence from space: Chilling images show colossal storm churning toward US

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People drive over a drawbridge in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., as they evacuate the area in advance of Hurricane Florence, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018.

Grocery stores began selling out of water, milk and bread, and supply stores were struggling to stock batteries, plywood and generators as early as Sunday.

"This storm gets stronger and stronger" on its way to a head-on impact with a zone that ranges some 80 miles, Myers said.

Courtesy @astro_ricky/NASA/Handout via REUTERSA photo taken from the International Space Station by astronaut Ricky Arnold shows Hurricane Florence over the Atlantic Ocean on early September 6. While it may or may not officially become a Category 5 storm, it will still be a major Hurricane at landfall.

North and SC residents are running out of time to evacuate before Hurricane Florence roars in with pounding surf and driving rain that will bring potentially deadly flooding, officials warned on Wednesday. This could lead to devastating flooding across parts of the Carolinas and Virginia.

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"Ever stared down the gaping eye of a Category 4 hurricane?"

The soaked ground and fierce winds could bring down trees and power lines and knock out electricity for weeks.

Trump has declared states of emergency for North and SC ahead of the Category 4 hurricane, which frees up help from federal agencies.

Governors in SC and Virginia have also issued mandatory evacuation orders ahead of the storm. More importantly, this would make Florence drift westward after stalling instead of northward, which would impact rainfall totals.

As of Tuesday morning, the storm is located 900 miles southeast of North Carolina's coast, and advancing at a relatively rapid speed of 16 miles per hour.

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Another resident staying put despite evacuation orders to over 1 million people throughout the Carolinas and Virginia is Jon Wright, a retired firefighter.

"Action today can avoid losses due to Florence", he said.

Already, American Airlines is letting customers flying to one of 23 airports in four states potentially affected by the storm to reschedule their travel without incurring a change fee.

Hurricanes Helene and Isaac are not expected to hit the United States mainland.

The cone, which represents the "probable track of the center of a tropical storm" is "formed by enclosing the area swept out by a set of circles along the forecast track (at 12, 24, 36 hours, etc)" the NHC says on its website.

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Dozens of residents have vowed to ride out Hurricane Florence when it smashes into the Carolinas on Friday despite authorities warning that people will die.

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