The National Hurricane Center's says it expects Florence will blow ashore as early as Friday afternoon around the North Carolina-South Carolina line, then slog westward with a potential for catastrophic inland flooding. Its maximum sustained winds are expected to top 145 miles per hour before losing some steam near the coast. Maximum gusts were measured at 130 miles per hour.
The new trajectory means the storm will idle at sea for longer, creating even heavier and prolonged rains and storm surges for the Carolinas and possibly northern parts of Georgia. Right now the storm does not have a lot of speed behind it, so the rainfall will likely be extensive along the coastal areas, with historic flooding predicted there.
MS is sending National Guard members and search-and-rescue workers to areas affected by Hurricane Florence.
Locally, here in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia, the storm has generated a moderate risk of rip currents. Mandatory evacuations began at 8 a.m.in many coastal communities. "Heed any flood watches and warnings".
Hurricane Florence may now be dipping a bit south and hitting a portion of the Great State of Georgia.
"We could cover several states easily with the cloud cover alone", Graham said.
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In Virginia, where about 245,000 residents were ordered to evacuate low-lying areas, officials urged people to remain away from home despite forecast changes showing Florence's path largely missing the state. "It's the most deadly part of the hurricane that comes in - it causes the most amount of destruction".
"The water could overtake some of these barrier islands and keep on going".
"Protection of life is the absolute highest priority", he added. "That, folks, is extremely life-threatening".
"Get out of its way, don't play games with it, it's a big one, maybe as big as they've seen", Trump said.
The very center of that bullseye may be Camp Lejeune, the sprawling Marine Corps training base, where authorities were opening emergency operation centers and staging equipment.
As of Tuesday, more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out. Although the latest tracks suggest that the center of the storm will pass to our south, we'll still likely feel some effects as early as Thursday. Upon its arrival, the National Hurricane Center projects that Florence could drop anywhere from 20-40 inches of rain along the Carolina coast.