Dont play games with it: Florence takes aim at Carolinas

Hurricane Florence could produce up to 30 inches of rainfall in some areas – with 15 to 20 inches expected. The rainfall could result in

The storm, which is poised to affect millions this week in the southeastern USA, is "expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and rainfall" to North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, and parts of the Mid-Atlantic states, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

"Florence is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale". The majority of the storm surge and rainfall issues are expected to remain for southeast North Carolina down into Charleston.

While the hurricane is expected to weaken as it begins to interact with land before making landfall, Florence will remain a risky major hurricane as it approaches the East Coast, officials said.

After Florence makes landfall, that ridge, now over Washington and NY, will move east - but be replaced by another one forming over the Great Lakes that will likely keep the storm stuck, McNoldy said.

Historic and potentially catastrophic flooding is possible along with life-threating storm surges of up to 12 feet are possible along the coasts. More than 1 million residents have been ordered to evacuate from the coastline of the three states, while university campuses, schools and factories were being shuttered.

A hurricane watch has been placed in effect for Edisto Beach South Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border, and a storm surge watch is in place for the same zone.

Forecasters said parts of North Carolina could get 20in of rain, if not more, with as much as 10in elsewhere in the state and in Virginia, parts of Maryland and Washington DC.

"Even the rescuers can not stay there", he said.

The latest computer models from the National Hurricane Center has shifted Florence's track further southwest, and southeast Virginia is no longer within the cone.

Gov. Nathan Deal isn't taking any chances with Hurricane Florence.

More tips on hurricane preparation can be found at the National Weather Service's website.

In a videotaped message from the White House, US President Donald Trump said the government is fully prepared for Florence but urged people to "get out of its way".

Even with some weakening that's predicted just before it makes landfall, the storm "is expected to remain a risky major hurricane as it approaches the coastline", the hurricane center said.

Smithfield Foods Inc said it would shut down the world's largest hog-slaughtering facility in Tar Heel, North Carolina, on Thursday and Friday due to the hurricane.

What's more certain is beach erosion and unsafe surf conditions. Forecasters also were tracking two other disturbances.

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

President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid. A steady stream of vehicles filled with people and belongings is moving inland.

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