Georgia governor declares state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence

11am2 Hurricane Florence May Stall Off Wilmington North Carolina

11am2 Hurricane Florence May Stall Off Wilmington North Carolina

"Heed the warnings", said Byard, adding there was "well over $20 billion" in FEMA's disaster relief fund.

Moreover, high tides around noon and midnight these next few days will make the storm surges even worse, Samson said.

Hurricane Florence is expected to being heavy rain and strong winds to the coasts of North and SC as early as Thursday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is forecasting.

More than a million people have been ordered to evacuate the coastline of the three states, while schools and factories were being shuttered.

"The Charleston area now is expected to see at least 1-2 inches of rain over the next several days". Life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding and river flooding is likely. New projections indicate the now-Category 3 hurricane will move slightly southeast, with landfall expected between Wilmington and Morehead City, North Carolina.

As hurricane-force winds approach the coast, they'll push the ocean's waves ashore, causing storm surges of up to 13 feet (4 meters) in parts of North Carolina, the National Hurricane Center reported.

The slow movement, combined with the massive amount of moisture this storm holds, will bring unsafe rains - from 20 to 30 inches in coastal North Carolina and 40 inches possible in isolated areas, the weather service says.

This means the storm will have less of an impact in northern North Carolina and southern Virginia and more of an impact on southern North Carolina, South Carolina and northern Georgia.

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The eastbound lanes of several major highways have been shut down to allow traffic to flow inland, but the exodus was slow along roads jammed with outward-bound vehicles. But this estimate could shift, and again, the site of landfall is still not determined.

Crews board up the Oceanic restaurant in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, in preparation for Hurricane Florence.

"He was thinking of coming here until this morning, and now he asked me if I wanted to come up there", he said.

"We hope to have something left when we get home", she said.

The governor said power plants are taking all necessary steps to help people get power back after the storm.

If some of the computer projections hold, "it's going to come roaring up to the coast Thursday night and say, 'I'm not sure I really want to do this, and I'll just take a tour of the coast and decide where I want to go inland,"' said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private Weather Underground forecasting service. "We have everything. We're ready".

Hurricane Florence has gotten a little bit weaker but it remains a very large and unsafe storm. The entire coastlines of North and SC, in addition to some parts of southeastern Virginia, are under a mandatory evacuation plan.

Gov. Henry McMaster issued a mandatory evacuation order for all coastal SC counties on Monday.

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