Hurricane watches issued on East Coast ahead of Florence

Hurricane Florence track

Mandatory evacuations issued for Outer Banks ahead of Florence

There was little change in Florence's track during the 11 a.m. forecast from the National Hurricane Center.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) says it expects the storm to make landfall in North Carolina or SC late Thursday into Friday as "an extremely risky major hurricane".

A hurricane watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, South Carolina to South Santee River, South Carolina and North of Duck, North Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border. "It is likely some areas will flood that have never flooded before".

The water could rise 6 to 12 feet in the area of Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, including the Neuse and Pamlico rivers, says the National Hurricane Center.

In remarks aimed at Americans who could find themselves in harm's way, the president noted that experts were predicting a storm the likes of which the East Coast of the United States has not seen in decades. The compact storm was located 880 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Tuesday morning, with sustained winds of 70 mph.

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The National Hurricane Center said Monday that Hurricane Florence is now a Category 4 storm and continuing to intensify. Over the next 36 hours, Florence's winds could reach 150 mph, the hurricane center says.

More than a million people are expected to flee low-lying areas, as SC and Virginia ordered mandatory evacuations of coastal areas starting on Tuesday.

Florence is now a Category 4 hurricane, packing winds of up to 140mph (224kph).

The eye of the storm is forecast to make landfall late on Thursday or early Friday along a stretch of coastline already saturated by rising seas, and then the system could meander over the land for days.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster on Monday ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents.

US President Donald Trump signed declarations of emergency on Tuesday for both North Carolina and SC, freeing up federal money and resources for storm response.

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Life-threatening and catastrophic river and flash flooding is also a near certainty for the Carolinas.

Streams of cars clogged roads leading away from the coast of North and SC on Tuesday as residents began fleeing ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence, a powerful Category 4 storm barreling towards the eastern U.S. states. "That, folks, is extremely life-threatening".

To whip up a monstrous storm like the one chugging for the Carolinas you need a handful of ingredients - and Florence has them all. Seven other UNC athletic events are also canceled or postponed because of Hurricane Florence.

Wrap up your preparations today and make plans to get to your safe place by Wednesday night or first thing Thursday morning in advance of Hurricane Florence.

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

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Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm's arrival, allowing the state to muster personnel and equipment needed to deal with possible flooding and wind damage.

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