Over 1 million people evacuated from coast as Hurricane Florence bears down

Hurricane Florence: What you need to know to stay safe

NASA showed how it looks from space a hurricane "Florence"

Hurricane Florence, now a Category 4 storm, is approaching the US East Coast with winds of more than 130 miles per hour.

"On the forecast track, the center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and SC later [Thursday night], then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and northeastern SC in the hurricane warning area on Friday", the NHC said.

Hurricane Florence is now a Category 4 storm and is "rapidly strengthening" as it heads toward the Carolinas coast, bringing "exceptionally heavy rain", the National Hurricane Center said Monday.

In a tweet, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) tweeted that "residents in all coastal evacuation zones in all counties must evacuate beginning at noon tomorrow, Tuesday, September 11, 2018".

Hyde County officials announced that all Ocracoke Island visitors have been ordered to evacuate starting noon on Monday.

"This is still a very unsafe storm", South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said at a Tuesday news conference.

The National Weather Service in Newport has issued a Storm Surge Warning. Hurricane Florence is large in size.

Communities along a stretch of coastline that's vulnerable to rising sea levels due to climate change prepared to evacuate the storm, which forecasters expect to be close to Category 5 strength by Tuesday. SC is one-waying several interstates including I-26 out of Charleston.

The NHC's latest prediction, published 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, indicates that the eye of the storm is expected to hit the coast just south of the popular resort town of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in Surfside Beach.

More news: Hurricane Florence looms over East Coast — WHAT'S HAPPENING

"We're preparing as we're playing the football game on Saturday with all of our travel plans and we'll be in constant communication with South Carolina", Hamrick said. "Florence has rapidly intensified into an extremely unsafe hurricane", Blake wrote Monday evening, predicting that the hurricane's top sustained winds would approach the 157 miles per hour (253 kph) threshold for a wost-case Category 5 scenario.

"This one is hard", she said, having been through hurricane damage before.

North Carolina's governor urged people to learn what evacuation routes to take and put fuel in their vehicles in case they're ordered to leave.

Tropical-storm-force winds, which are predicted to blow between 60 and 70 miles per hour in Davidson County, are expected to reach the area by Thursday morning.

"This is a serious storm and it's going to effect the entire state", Northam told a news conference. While that move allows carriers to charge last-minute business travelers high fares, a run on tickets ahead of an impending storm also could trigger a price surge.

Hurricane Florence as seen from the International Space Station on Monday afternoon.

In Wilmington, Anita Harrell said she waited 90 minutes at a Home Depot on Tuesday to get plywood, intending to board up her home and business. "I think this is very Harvey-esque", said University of Miami hurricane expert Brian McNoldy.

Hurricane Isaac - which late on Sunday became the fifth hurricane of the season - is heading west towards the Caribbean.

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