'Life-Threatening' Hurricane Florence Closes In On US East Coast

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

Packing winds of up to 220 km/h (140 mph) late Monday, Florence was expected to further strengthen and become "an extremely unsafe major hurricane" by the time in makes landfall in the Carolinas on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in a 21:00 UTC update.

Residents are running out of time to evacuate before Hurricane Florence roars in to North and SC bringing potentially deadly flooding, officials warn.

It could stall just off the coast and then drift south along the SC coast and possibly make a landfall as a weaker system if it doesn't make it clearly over the coast of North Carolina.

Hurricane Florence seen from the International Space Station.

In addition to stronger winds, rain chances will also increase through the second half of the weekend.

Mack said U-Haul has been inspecting its facilities over the last week to make sure they are "clean, dry and secure". "It's a big one", he said. "As a strong member of these communities, we are in the position to offer this service to our friends who are in harm's way".

President Donald Trump says his administration is "as ready as anybody has ever been", to respond to the storm.

LATER NEXT WEEK: The remnants of Hurricane Florence could bring some heavy rain to the D.C. region by next week. "This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast".

"Heed the warnings", said Byard, adding there was "well over $20 billion" in FEMA's disaster relief fund.

Roy Cooper said Wednesday on Fox & Friends that the residents of his state need to obey evacuation orders ahead of Hurricane Florence.

North Carolina resident Roberto Guzman carries belongings from his mobile home as he leaves Wilmington a day before the storm is due to strike.

He warned residents to take precautions "because once this storm is upon us, we're not going to be able to send emergency personnel out to rescue you".

Lebrun said the latest updates will be posted on the Ware County Schools Facebook page.

"Been through it!" Belli said, referring to Hurricane Hugo, which caused widespread damage in SC in 1989.

"The focus should be on the potential for torrential downpours that will lead to potentially life-threatening flooding", said meteorologist Scott Sharp. As Florence bounces along the southeastern coastal states, rain totals are expected to rise. The Virginia National Guard is planning to initially bring up to 1,500 soldiers and airmen to offer help in the state's response operations.

It said the hurricane was about 520 miles (820km) southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Wednesday. At this height of the Atlantic hurricane season, Florence was being trailed on east-to-west paths by two other storms, Hurricane Helene and Tropical Storm Isaac, but neither packs the deadly punch of Florence.

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