Hurricane Florence threatens millions on US East Coast

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The European Model projects that Florence will track a bit further south, bringing more severe weather to SC.

Evacuations were imposed for parts of three East Coast states Tuesday as millions of Americans prepared for what could become one of the most catastrophic hurricanes to hit the Eastern Seaboard in decades.

The overall 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".

"This is not going to be a glancing blow", Byard said, warning of power outages, road closures, infrastructure damage and potential loss of life.

"The time to prepare is nearly over", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a morning news conference.

A new high-definition video and photos taken from the International Space Station show the size of scope of Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm heading toward landfall in the Southeast U.S. later this week. "We're kind of at the mercy of the storm".

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said: "Florence is still forecast to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane when it nears the U.S. coast late Thursday and Friday".

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The News & Observer reports that the storm's path shifted early Wednesday and it is now bearing down on southern North Carolina and northern SC, where it could dump up to 40 inches of rain in places.

Damaging hurricane-force winds are likely along portions of the coasts of SC and North Carolina, and a Hurricane Warning is in effect.

"If you aren't under evacuation orders, now's the time to finish preparations and get ready to hunker down", Cooper said.

'North Carolina, my message is clear: Disaster is at the doorstep, and it's coming in'.

And if Florence weren't enough, other storms out there are threatening people. In Virginia, officials have evacuated one state prison, though local jails in the affected area are planning to keep inmates in place after stockpiling food and fuel, the Virginian-Pilot reports.

Faced with new forecasts that showed a more southerly threat, Georgia's governor joined his counterparts in Virginia and North and SC in declaring a state of emergency, and some residents who had thought they were safely out of range boarded up their homes. "If you are on the coast, there is still time to get out safely". In South Carolina and inland parts of North Carolina, 5 to 10 inches of rain could fall, with 20 inches possible in some areas.

Hurricane florence is the most powerful storm to emerge from the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. That leaves the "spinning wheel" at the hurricane's core stranded, "and it'll just sit there until the weather pattern changes", he said.

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