Millions prepare for potentially catastrophic Florence

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HOLDEN BEACH, N.C.: The powerful Hurricane Florence threatened to bring "days and days" of rain and potentially deadly flooding to the US southeast coast, North Carolina's governor warned on Tuesday, as some 1 million people were ordered to evacuate their homes.

The plane, known as a "hurricane hunter", flew right into Hurricane Florence Monday as 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate the coast of SC ahead of the storm's arrival.

Florence strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane on Monday.

Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, and North and SC have all declared states of emergency.

Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for more than 1 million people in coastal areas of the Carolinas and Virginia.

Any storm surge taller than 12 feet is "life-threatening", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said.

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The hurricane is projected to make a direct hit on the East Coast, somewhere along the coast of North Carolina, South Carolina or Virginia.

The Gulf Stream is pushing warm water past Cape Hatteras, which could create a "nightmare scenario" that could lead to as much as $25 billion in damages, putting Florence in the top 10 of the most destructive storms, he said.

The storm's potential path also includes half a dozen nuclear power plants, pits holding coal-ash and other industrial waste, and numerous hog farms that store animal waste in massive open-air lagoons. "We are in a very deadly and important game of chess with Hurricane Florence".

Several spots in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast had one of their wettest summers on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The NHC warned they're likely to cause "life-threatening surf and rip current conditions".

As Hurricane Florence barrels toward the Carolina coast, experts are warning of its potentially disastrous effects. "This is going to be catastrophic in parts of eastern North Carolina". The storm is now about 950 miles from the Carolina coast line, but moving in that direction at about 15 mph.

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Over the last 24 hours, Gov. Roy Cooper and Gov. Henry McMaster declared states of emergency for their respective states ahead of Florence.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) has started sending out coastal advisories for Hurricane Florence at 8 a.m. on September 11.

Flooding from a prolonged, heavy rainfall could extend inland over the Carolinas and for hundreds of miles.

"Pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of SC and is going to go way inshore", McMaster said in a press conference.

US President Donald Trump signed declarations of emergency on Tuesday for both North Carolina and SC, freeing up federal money and resources for storm response.

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