Satellite view of unsafe Hurricane Florence at sunrise

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Florence was about 405 miles south of Bermuda and its center was forecast to move between Bermuda and the Bahamas through Wednesday, before approaching the coast of North Carolina or SC on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its 8:00 am (1200 GMT) advisory.

The National Weather Service in Wakefield said this morning that Hurricane Florence is continuing to move toward the Carolinas.

The evacuation is said to affect one out of every five South Carolinians, representing around a million residents.

Florence is so wide that a life-threatening storm surge was being pushed 300 miles (485 kilometers) ahead of its eye, and so wet that a swath from SC to OH and Pennsylvania could get deluged. "Now's the time to prepare".

Maximum sustained winds were clocked at 140 miles per hour (220 kph) as it moved west-northwest at 13 miles per hour (20 kph).

It is now moving west-northwest at about 16 miles per hour and that speed is expected to increase in the next few days, says the center.

Hurricane Florence churned Tuesday toward an Eastern Seaboard landfall as a million people were ordered to leave the coast and millions more prepared for what could be one of the most catastrophic hurricanes to hit the region in decades.

Weakening winds from Hurricane Florence approach the Carolinas
Florence will then recurve across the western Carolinas and the central Appalachian Mountains early next week. RAINFALL: Florence is expected to produce heavy and excessive rainfall in the following areas...

Some experts claim the story could become a Category 5 Hurricane before it makes landfall this week, with winds speeds of 157mph or greater. The watches extend north from Edisto Beach to the North Carolina-Virginia border. Florence's storm surge threatens more than 750,000 homes in the region, according to the property analytics firm CoreLogic.

North Carolina's governor, Roy Cooper, said: "North Carolina is taking #HurricaneFlorence seriously, and you should too". "People are doing a pretty good job now". Eight dogs and 18 cats from a shelter in Norfolk, Virginia, were sent to two shelters in Washington to make room for pets expected to be displaced by the hurricane.

President Trump met with federal disaster officials at the White House on Tuesday. But that part of the East Coast rarely sees any major hurricanes.

"This one really scares me", Graham said.

Officials said tickets purchased through the respective schools will be refunded automatically and as quickly as possible. "Our social media, over the next few days, is going to pump out information about the storm".

Trump said the storm will be "tremendously big and tremendously wet - tremendous amount of water". It will possibly weaken somewhat as it nears land - but that will hardly change the flooding threat.

Even before it officially arrives, Florence will push tall waves far ahead of it. During that storm, only 14 lagoons out of several thousand flooded, Curliss said. The large storm is also projecting tropical storm-force winds outward up to 170 miles. For those not in the storm's direct path, officials are still warning about the residual high winds, heavy rain, and potential flooding. Tropical storm-force winds would extend almost 300 km across three states.

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It includes transporting supplies, equipment, fuel, or people to and from the areas hit by the storm.

The auto park has been full for three days at the Ace Hardware store in coastal Calabash, North Carolina, where manager Tom Roberts said he sold 150 gas cans in two hours Monday, along with generators, plywood, rope, manual can openers, sand bags and a plethora of other items.

A ideal storm of unfortunate circumstances means Florence could deal a devastating blow to the Southeast.

"Prolonged and exceptionally heavy" rains will also inundate parts of the coast and inland areas, the National Hurricane Center said.

Meteorologists say they are expecting rainfall from Hurricane Florence to measure in feet, not inches.

The problem is, much of the Carolinas are already saturated from rainfall. "It is going to be ... a long-term recovery", Byard said. "There's no canned goods", Kristin Harrington said as she shopped at a Walmart in Wilmington.

Some strengthening is expected during the next 36 hours, and Florence is expected to be an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. "Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months". At that level, it would still cause "devastating damage", according to the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Hundreds more flights canceled as Florence nears the Carolina coastal area
Officials in the potential path of Florence urged people to evacuate their coastal homes and directed drivers away from the coast. But, knowing the intensity of Florence's impact on Myrtle Beach, "My friends are worrying me right now", Combs said.

His campaign says it's canceling a Thursday event in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where he had been scheduled to stump for the Republican senate candidate, state attorney general Josh Hawley. Tropical Storm Isaac is heading westward toward the central Lesser Antilles, but is a bit weaker, with Guadeloupe, Martinique and Dominica now under tropical storm, not hurricane, warnings.

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