The evacuations continued as Florence weakened a bit in its charge towards the East Coast, downgrading from a Category 3 storm to a Category 2, the National Hurricane Center said in its latest update.
The hurricane was centered about 975 miles east southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.
The National Hurricane Center's projected track had Florence hovering off the southern North Carolina coast starting Thursday night before finally blowing ashore.
Florence is rated a Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale. He urged people to leave immediately rather than face the wrath of the "once in a lifetime" storm.
TIMELINE | Florence now looks to menace parts of Georgia; When will we see its effects? In western North Carolina, this means that rivers may rise rapidly and floodwaters will move more swiftly down stream beds, potentially causing damage to properties, roads and buildings far outside the 100-year flood plain.
"When we talk about these hurricanes, you have your rain, wind and storm surge", he said.
Florence's Death Toll Stands at 15 as It Weakens to a Depression
Its top sustained winds have dropped to 70 miles per hour , and it's at a near standstill, moving west at just 3 miles per hour . This will cause devastating flooding across much of Onslow County with travel made impossible and many homes completely flooded.
Wood boards and cardboard boxes block the entrance to a deserted Walmart store ahead of Hurricane Florence in Kill Devil Hills in the Outer Banks of North Carolina on September 11, 2018. But his partner, Emily Whisler, said she will remain behind at the university where she is a resident in the psychiatry program.
"We're expecting heavy rainfalls across the ACP footprint, so we're taking all necessary precautions to prepare for the storm", he said.
More than 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate the coastlines of the Carolinas and Virginia. "We'll handle it. We're ready, we're able". For example, the seas off of Wilmington, North Carolina have risen 7.5 inches since 1935, according to NOAA.
"Heed the warnings", FEMA's Jeff Byard said.
The precipitation from Florence will start midday Thursday and then it will rain for four days, said CNN Meteorologist Tom Sater.More than 1 million people are under mandatory evacuations in Virginia and the Carolinas, where up to 40 inches of rain could fall.
Florence is following a similar sort of path hurricanes as Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005 and Hurricane Hugo in the Caribbean and southeastern U.S.in 1989, he said.
Dolphins swimming in flood water caused by Hurricane Florence
The weather service later measured a storm surge 10 feet deep in the city, which lies on the Neuse River near the Atlantic coast. It was crawling west-southwest at 3 miles per hour , lifting huge amounts of ocean moisture and dumping it far from the coast.
According to Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean, current forecast puts Florence stalling upon reaching the Carolina coast before making a slight shift south and barreling down SC.
While some of the computer forecasting models conflicted, the latest projections more or less showed the storm shifting southward and westward in a way that suddenly put more of SC in danger and imperiled Georgia, too.
NASA astronauts used a super wide-angle lens to capture the footage of Hurricane Florence, due to the massive size of it.
On Wednesday, McMaster said that emergency lane reversals - using all lanes of I-26 out of Charleston and Highway 501 near Myrtle Beach for westbound traffic - will cease on Thursday, two days after the measure was instituted.
Subtropical storm Joyce formed in the Atlantic on Wednesday but is not expected to threaten land.
"The concern is about people who are very young or very old, who don't have much money or access to transportation, who do not speak the predominant language or have access to information", Thomas Tighe, of Direct Relief, said.
Challenger Pressley notches upset victory in MA congressional race
Elsewhere on the ballot, Secretary of State William Galvin fought off a challenge from Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim. She is poised to become the only black member of Massachusetts' mostly male congressional delegation.
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