Surge, wind, rain, floods: Hurricane Florence could hit hard

Hurricane Florence: What you need to know to stay safe

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.

Millions are being told to evacuate as the North and SC coasts prepares for the arrival of Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm that continues to strengthen into "an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday night".

Hurricane Florence appears to have weakened slightly but is expected to restrengthen later on Tuesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its latest advisory. Hurricane Florence neared Category 5 strength on Monday, forcing evacuations in coastal areas in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

A mandatory evacuation order takes effect Tuesday at noon in eight counties along South Carolina's 187-mile coastline.

Still mostly centered in the landing area were Wilmington and Myrtle Beach, where the SC governor told everyone to leave starting at noon on Tuesday.

Mandatory evacuations began to go into effect for coastal areas of North Carolina, especially the Outer Banks, on Monday, as the coast braced for heavy rains, storm surge and the potential for tornadoes.

"Florence is quickly becoming a powerful hurricane", a hurricane specialist wrote.

USA authorities have ordered the evacuation of 1.5 million people ahead of the storm which is expected to make landfall on the East Coast on Thursday. SC is one-waying several interstates including I-26 out of Charleston.

More than a million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have been told to leave their homes. "Everyone in Virginia needs to prepare", he said. According to the National Hurricane Center, the maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 105 miles per hour with higher gusts. "It's going to destroy homes", said Jeff Byard, an official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The storm's path put a corridor of more than 10 million people in the crosshairs Wednesday as it closed in on the Carolinas, uncertainty over its projected path spreading worry across a widening swath of the Southeast. "That's my one and only dealing with a hurricane". Eastbound lanes of Interstate 26 heading into Charleston and USA 501 heading into Myrtle Beach will be reversed when the order takes effect. Roberts said he's telling them to get out of town.

The office of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam predicted "catastrophic inland flooding, high winds and possible widespread power outages".

Forecasters are also tracking several other hurricanes in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Preparations for Florence come as the Atlantic hurricane season hits its peak.

"We're doing a lot of planning today countywide", Hanes said Monday.

"Regardless of where the storm makes landfall, all residents in Stanly should prepare for this hurricane", said Brian T. Simpson, director of emergency services.

Hurricane Isaac is moving toward the Caribbean and could make landfall Thursday as a Category 1 hurricane.

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