West Point area could start to feel effects of Hurricane Florence Thursday

White House Buckles in For Hurricane Florence

White House Buckles in For Hurricane Florence

The threat has sparked a rush of evacuation efforts in SC and North Carolina, with more than a million people urged to get out of Florence's way.

Officials in at least one area that ordered an evacuation will be going to homes to ask people planning to ride it out for information on their next of kin, CNN reported Wednesday.

Hurricane Florence, on track to become the first Category 4 storm to make a direct hit on North Carolina in six decades, howled closer to shore on Wednesday, threatening to unleash pounding surf, days of torrential rain and severe flooding.

As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center showed Florence as a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour moving west-northwest at 16 miles per hour.

NOAA Hurricane Hunters have been flying constantly from Lakeland Linder International Airport, right into Hurricane Florence.

States up and down the East Coast have a great potential for severe weather.

More than 12,000 people were in shelters in North Carolina and 400 in Virginia, where the forecast was less dire.

Weekend sporting events have already been canceled, with possibly more to come.

Coastal streets in the Carolinas flowed with frothy ocean water, and at least 510,000 homes and businesses were without power, almost all of them in North Carolina, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the nation's electrical grid. For now, it appears four to seven inches of rain could fall but, if the storms takes a more southerly track into SC, that rainfall could be reduced.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference that the "historic" hurricane would unleash rains and floods that would inundate nearly the entire state in several feet of water.


Evacuation orders for low-lying areas were issued Monday and continued Tuesday.

The eastbound lanes of several major highways have been shut down to allow for a smooth flow of traffic inland.

Decreasing modestly in strength but expanding in size, Category 3 Hurricane Florence is less than 48 hours away from making landfall on the Southeast American coast with catastrophic impacts, from damaging winds to flash flooding to widespread power outages.

Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid. He urged people to leave immediately rather than face the wrath of the "once in a lifetime" storm.

Storm Surge Inundation: Up to 2 to 4 feet of inundation is possible in portions of the Storm Surge Watch area Thursday into Friday.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic basin, Tropical Storm Isaac will strike the islands of the Lesser Antilles, with Guadeloupe, Dominica and Martinique under a tropical storm warning.

The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

The National Hurricane Center said the storm will eventually push westward and make a right hook to the northeast over the southern Appalachians, moving into the mid-Atlantic region and New England as a tropical depression by the middle of next week.

Another disturbance is swirling around in the Gulf of Mexico.

Florence is the most risky of three tropical systems in the Atlantic.

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