Millions prepare for potentially catastrophic Florence

Hurricane Florence: What you need to know to stay safe

Hurricane Florence: What you need to know to stay safe

The president ordered federal assistance to supplement state, tribal and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from Hurricane Florence.

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 risky major hurricane through Thursday night".

SC governor Henry McMaster has ordered the evacuation of the entire 187-mile coastline of the Palmetto State, effective at noon on Tuesday, in anticipation of powerful Hurricane Florence approaching the east coast of the United States.

The slow-moving storm, the most severe hurricane to threaten the USA mainland this year, was rated a Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale and located about 905 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, at 11 a.m. EDT, according to the NHC.

And despite mandatory evacuation orders in coastal areas of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, many residents haven't chose to leave.

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

"This is a real hurricane we have coming", South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said Monday. That also means that colossal weather systems like Hurricane Florence are easy to observe as the spacecraft cruises along.

Here's what should you know about the path of the Category 1 storm.

South Carolina's emergency helpline is active at 1-866-246-0133 for anyone with questions related to the storm.

Since 1851, only one hurricane has brought sustained Category-4 winds to North Carolina: Hurricane Hazel in 1954, Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach said.

The US Navy said it was preparing to send about 30 ships stationed in Virginia out to sea.

The storm is moving northwest at 5 miles per hour and has maximum sustained winds close to 90 miles per hour. Are you preparing your home or getting ready to evacuate? The National Weather Service reported Sunday that more than 20 people had to be pulled from the ocean off Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach, The Wilmington Star reported.

On Monday Florence had strengthened into a category 4 hurricane. As the forecast becomes clearer, Florence poses three challenges: coastal storm surge, strong winds and inland flooding that inundates rivers and low-lying ground. She said it was built in 2009 in Buxton, North Carolina, up on a ridge, and made to withstand a hurricane.

Beaufort County public schools will be closed Tuesday through the rest of the week, a school district news release said.

The state has issued mandatory evacuations. Hurricane Helene is gaining strength behind Isaac and has reached wind speeds of more than 105 miles per hour.

In North Carolina, coastal evacuations were also underway late Monday - with more scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, two other storms were also spinning in the Atlantic.

Lining up behind Florence, Isaac was about 1,150 miles (1,855 kilometers) east of the Windward Islands with top winds of 75 mph (120 kph) early Monday, moving west at 14 mph (22 kph).

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