5 photos of Hurricane Florence

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Hurricane Florence was on course Wednesday to deliver a devastating blow to the east coast of the United States, with millions urged to flee inland hours before it was due to announce its arrival with torrential downpours.

As of 11 a.m., the potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm was centered 485 miles (785 kilometers) southeast of Wilmington, moving at 15 mph (24 kph) with winds of 130 mph (215 kph) and enough moisture to dump feet of rain on the region.

Industrial waste, including toxic ash from power plants, could also be spread by flooding from the massive storm, which has caused mandatory evacuations of coastal areas in both Carolinas and Virginia, the AP reports. Seven-day rainfall totals are forecast to reach 10 to 20 inches over much of North Carolina and Virginia, and even 30 inches in some places.

As one of the nation's foremost experts on storm surge, he warned that if Florence hits at high tide, it could pose serious risks to property and life for any low-lying areas along the coast as well as along any inlets. That would leave people like Whittington essentially cut off.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency "in light of the storm's forecasted southward track after making landfall".

"We have seen a dramatic shift in the track", Scasny said, adding that big changes to the storm's behavior could emerge within the next two days.


Residents are running out of time to evacuate before Hurricane Florence roars in to North and SC bringing potentially deadly flooding, officials warn. Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall in the Tar Heel State on Friday. Rather than pushing up toward western Virginia, the storm's center is now predicted to move across the middle of SC.

Their entire neighborhood evacuated in Wilmington, North Carolina, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter's one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte.

Grace Beasley said: 'I'm now in the Philippines and the country is making huge preparations for typhoon Mangkhut, which has already caused devastation to Guam'.

"We are uniquely positioned to establish a quick ad-hoc supply chain to support relief efforts", said Bettina Stix, an Amazon veteran credited with developing DRbA. Most other beachgoers were long gone.

"We hope to have something left when we get home", she said. "Also, a little creepy".

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