Georgia Declares State of Emergency Over Hurricane Florence

The eye of Hurricane Florence is seen on Tuesday morning

Landfall is expected late Thursday or early Friday, and the National Hurricane Center fears the storm "will slow considerably or stall, leading to a prolonged and exceptionally heavy and risky rainfall event Friday-Sunday".

The "once-in-a-lifetime" storm was due to hit the coast of the southeastern USA tomorrow, bringing winds of up to 130mph and causing a sea surge of as much as 13 feet. But despite that, bad things can happen when you're talking about a storm this size. "Don't bet your life on riding out a monster".

President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.

As of Tuesday (Wednesday NZT), about 1.7 million people in North and SC and Virginia were under warnings to evacuate the coast, and hurricane watches and warnings extended across an area with about 5.4 million residents.

The image circles some of the points where the most extreme weather is set to batter the world this week, giving a word of warning about the dangers they pose.

It's a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm with 130 miles per hour (215 kph) maximum sustained winds.

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.

As the hurricane closed in, some residents wondered whether to ride it out. Allison Jones said she's not taking any chances.

"I will enjoy the quiet", he said.

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"Once you leave, hard to get back in to check on damage", he said.

Residents along the coast boarded up their homes, lined up at gas stations and emptied supermarket shelves. From there, they headed to her father's home in Ohio.

"All my staff are gone", Thompson said. "We've never left for a storm before. But a storm surge of 20 feet could easily wipe this island out".

At 2 p.m. on September 12, the NHC had storm surge and hurricane warnings in place for most of the North Carolina and SC coast.

All three states ordered mass evacuations along the coast.

"No matter where this storm comes ashore, it will have widespread, significant impacts in North Carolina", he said. He said to be prepared for days of rain. "This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast". Schools in 26 of the state's 46 counties were ordered closed.

"Pets are not allowed inside Red Cross evacuation shelters", McMaster said.

North Carolina officials evacuated long-term care facilities and hundreds of prisoners in vulnerable areas, and also closed state parks, museums and other attractions. The curfew does not apply to those evacuating the area. Gov. Northam urged all Virginians to begin making storm preparations immediately.

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