NASA Releases Footage Of Hurricane Florence And Her 'Mike Tyson Punch'

ABC News More than 20 inches of rain could fall in parts of North Carolina and northeast South Carolina

ABC News More than 20 inches of rain could fall in parts of North Carolina and northeast South Carolina

Hurricane Hugo, the strongest hurricane ever to impact North Carolina, actually made landfall just north of Charleston, South Carolina in 1989 with 130 miles per hour (209 km/h) winds.

Florence exploded into a potentially catastrophic hurricane Monday as it closed in on North and SC, carrying winds up to 140 miles per hour (220 kph) and water that could wreak havoc over a wide stretch of the eastern United States later this week.

Hurricane and storm watches were issued for the entire coast of North Carolina on Tuesday morning and for parts of the SC coast including Charleston, Myrtle Beach and Wilmington.

Hurricane Florence may be the strongest storm ever to make landfall north of Florida if predictions hold.

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

For those in the path of the storm looking for a place to store their belongings, news organization WJZY has listed each U-Haul storage facility and address taking part in the 30-day program.

Deal cited the storm's "forecasted southward track" in a statement declaring a state of emergency.

No storm watches or warnings are in effect for Georgia, but forecasters warned that the monster storm could hesitate just offshore for days - punishing a longer stretch of coastline harder than previously feared - before pushing inland over the weekend.

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.

The US east coast is bracing for more than 40 inches of rain as Hurricane Florence barrels nearer to land. Tens of thousands of people are also expected to seek higher ground along coastal areas of North Carolina.

The president signed emergency declarations for the Carolinas and Virginia, a move that frees up federal money and resources.

"It is an extremely risky, life-threatening, historic hurricane".

Forecast models have said that several feet of heavy rain could cause flooding well inland from the coast. So we could have two landfalls - one around Wilmington and then one near Myrtle Beach or even south of there.

"This one really scares me", National Hurricane Centre director Ken Graham said.

"This is not going to be a glancing blow", warned Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 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.

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