Hurricane Florence Tracker: Warnings Sent Out for North, South Carolina

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But Hurricane Center officials warned that anyone in coastal and inland locations from SC to the mid-Atlantic region should "closely monitor the progress of Florence, ensure that they have their hurricane plan in place, and follow any advice given by local officials".

Category 4 hurricanes are unusual this far north. Hurricanes need warm water to thrive - and the sea surface temperature of ocean water cools as you get further away from the tropics. The rating system from 1 to 5 is based on a hurricane's sustained wind speed.

Manning adds hundreds of troops are ready to deploy at a moments notice, while the Federal Emergency Management Agency is setting up operations at Fort AP Hill, in Virginia.

After the storm surge comes the deluge of rain.

Florence, it said, will bring "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall to portions of the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic".

If this scenario plays out, meteorologists say there would be monumental rainfall totals along the coast and just inland east of the eye's landfall location.

As Florence moves toward land, it will push a wall of water with it. People living well inland should prepare to lose power and endure flooding and other hazards, he warned.

As of the National Hurricane Centre's 8am update (1pm BST), Florence was placed about 530 miles southeast of Cape Fear, Northern Carolina.

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Hurricane Florence is hurtling toward the US East Coast.

And in the 29 years since Hurricane Hugo struck, the population of the coastal Carolinas has skyrocketed.

Camp Lejeune has an extensive beachfront about 50 miles northeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and it's well within the National Hurricane Center's forecast "cone".

"Many of the people here have never seen a storm this strong", Myers said. "If you have to make large scale evacuations, make the call early".

"We're a resilient bunch down here".

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence - with winds of up to 140 miles per hour - is expected to be "extremely dangerous" when it hits the East Coast early Friday. "But this is pretty serious".

"It's too soon to know what impact this storm may have on the Triangle and on our campus, but we're taking all necessary precautions", wrote Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, in an email to students Monday afternoon.

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