'Monster' Hurricane Florence Barrels Toward the Carolinas

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"Florence is expected to weaken as it moves away from North Carolina regardless of whether it goes within or down the coast - whatever the track ends up being".

Updated NHC forecasts showed the storm lingering near the coast of the Carolinas, carrying days of heavy rains that could bring intense inland flooding from SC to Virginia.

Florence is moving 16 miles per hour northwest with a maximum sustained wind of 120 miles per hour and the eye is expected to first land in southern North Carolina near the SC border.

The slow movement, combined with the massive amount of moisture this storm holds, will bring risky rains - from 20 to 30 inches in coastal North Carolina and 40 inches possible in isolated areas, the weather service says. This storm is a slow-moving mammoth and will linger for days on the coast, heavily affecting not only North and SC but also Georgia and parts of Virginia before moving further inland, causing devastation to entire states throughout the weekend.

The threat has sparked a rush of evacuation efforts in SC and North Carolina, with more than 1 million people urged to get out of Florence's way.

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The simulation even includes a vehicle floating behind her as Navarro warns that rising water levels "could even float some cars". People in areas vulnerable to the unsafe hurricane, particularly those in coastal regions, have fled ahead of the storm.

If anyone left out there doubts Florence's sheer capacity to wreak havoc in the coming days, this NOAA satellite image (from former NASA scientist and Professor Marshall Shepherd) should do the convincing.

"I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in the path of Hurricane Florence", Deal said. "In light of the storm's forecasted southward track after making landfall, I encourage Georgians to be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas".

"The time to prepare is nearly over", Cooper warned.

The pivot in the forecasted track of Florence led Georgia's governor to declare a state of emergency for all 159 counties, home to 10.5 million people.

Hurricane-force winds now extend up to 80 miles from the eye of the storm, and tropical-storm-force winds now extend up to 195 miles from the center of the storm.

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The NHC said the storm was on a trajectory that showed its centre most likely to strike the southern coast of North Carolina by Friday.

"We're still looking at the potential for heavy rainfall that could produce flooding", she said.

The impact of storm surge on the coast will depend on whether the storm's arrival coincides with high tide.

An additional 25 percent of deaths are related to rain, he said.

"This is not going to be a tropical storm ... this is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast", Jeff Byard, the associate administrator for FEMA's Office of Response and Recovery, said on Wednesday.

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President Trump said the federal government and first responders stand ready to assist, but even so, "bad things can happen when you're talking about a storm this size". You never know. But we know.

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