North Carolina Issues First-of-Kind State Evacuation Order Due to Hurricane

People buy supplies at The Home Depot in Wilmington North Carolina as Florence closed in on North and South Carolina

Florence is a category 4 hurricane with winds at 130 miles per hour as of 8 a.m.

As of early Wednesday morning, Hurricane Florence had weakened slightly with sustained winds of 130mph, but this is of little outcome as the track forecast now shows a unsafe stalling out near the coast, or just onshore by late Thursday or Friday morning. The storm is moving west-northwest at 17 mph and is 785 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.

A satellite image shows Hurricane Florence looming in the Atlantic Ocean as the sun rises over the U.S. Florence is expected to bring tropical storm conditions to North Carolina and SC on Thursday and hurricane conditions on Friday.

Florence is the most risky of three tropical systems in the Atlantic.

Up to a foot of rain is now predicted places in the southern Appalachian mountains as projections shifted the storm's eventual path southward.

"The water could overtake some of these barrier islands and keep on going".

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is encouraging residents to heed the warnings of state and local officials, and said the lines of communication remain open. "All you have to do is look up at your ceiling, and think about 12 feet (of water)". Massive waves from the hurricane will make the rush of water even more risky and damaging, the National Hurricane Center warned.

North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., have declared states of emergency.

While many coastal residents heeded mandatory evacuation orders, others boarded up homes and businesses and chose to fearless the storm, which is forecast to trigger severe flash flooding as it dumps as many as three feet (almost a meter) of rain in some areas.

North Carolina's governor issued what he called a first-of-its-kind mandatory evacuation order for North Carolina's fragile barrier islands from one end of the coast to the other.

Florence could hit the Carolinas harder than any hurricane since Hazel packed 130mph (209kph) winds in 1954 and killed 19 people in North Carolina.

Virginia Tech sits at No. 13 in the nation after wins over Florida State and William and Mary.

"This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast", it said early Wednesday.

The National Weather Service said that more than 5.4 million people live in areas now under hurricane warnings or watches on the US East Coast. The humidity and warm ocean water cause the storms to gain enough intensity to turn into hurricanes.

"This is going to produce heavy rainfall, and it may not move very fast".

"We are already experiencing heavily impacted traffic on some of the evacuation routes", said Jeff Byard, the associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Florence's projected path includes half a dozen nuclear power plants, pits holding coal-ash and other industrial waste, and numerous hog farms that store animal waste in massive open-air lagoons.

The category four hurricane is set to bring with it heavy rains and winds of up to 225 kilometres per hour.

American and Southwest Airlines were among the carriers cancelling flights to and from the hurricane zone starting Wednesday. Hurricanes Dean and Felix hit Quintana Roo, Mexico; and Nicaragua, respectively, at Category 5 strength in 2007.

Two other storms were spinning in the Atlantic.

But, it's the water, not the wind, that has the potential to make the storm so deadly, experts say.

Liz Browning Fox was planning to ride out the storm nevertheless on the Outer Banks.

Rainfall could be as much as 40 inches locally along the North Carolina coast. If it does grow, the bigger wind field will give it a wider reach to whip more water toward the coast.

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