Millions prepare for potentially catastrophic Florence

Mandatory evacuations issued for Outer Banks ahead of Florence

Hurricane Florence Set To Hit US East Coast

Florence had maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour (165 km/h), making it a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory at 5 a.m. EST.

The approach of Hurricane Florence has sparked mandatory evacuations for parts of the Carolinas and Virginia, where the center of the Category 4 storm is expected to arrive on Thursday.

Hurricane Harvey killed 68 people and caused catastrophic flooding in Houston, while Hurricane Irma caused 129 storm-related deaths in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.

Now a strong tropical storm in the Central Atlantic with winds of 70 miles per hour, Isaac was expected to move into the Caribbean by Thursday and track west. It is expected to strengthen and possibly become a Category 5 storm Tuesday before closing in on North or SC on Thursday.

Arrival: Florence's landfall is expected late Thursday night or Friday morning.

"Storm Surge and Hurricane watches could be issued for portions of these areas by Tuesday morning".

Evacuations now extend to 1 million people in South Carolina - Governor Henry McMaster ordered the state's entire 187-mile coastline evacuated by Tuesday afternoon, reports The Post and Courier.

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On Monday, McMaster ordered residents of eight coastal counties to evacuate.

Meanwhile, a storm surge watch was sent out for Edisto Beach in SC to the North Carolina-Virginia border as well as Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers. "It is an extremely risky, life-threatening, historic hurricane", Cooper said at a news conference outlining state preparations in advance of the storm.

It warned the storm would be "an extremely unsafe major hurricane" by the time it made landfall, forecast in the Carolinas on Thursday. "We are in a very deadly and important game of chess with Hurricane Florence".

This photo provided by NASA shows Hurricane Florence from the International Space Station on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, as it threatens the U.S. East Coast. With 1-to-3 feet of rainfall expected in some areas, significant river flooding will occur.

"Don't concentrate on the exact forecast track of Hurricane Florence".

The state DOT said they are seeing three times as much traffic on I-26 as normal due to the evacuation, said transportation secretary Christy Hall. US President Donald Trump signed declarations of emergency for both North Carolina and SC, freeing up federal money and resources for storm response.

"Pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of SC and is going to go way inshore", McMaster said in a press conference. The risk of flash flooding is 20%, or moderate, for the eastern third of North Carolina.

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