President Trump on Hurricane Florence: 'Get out of its way'

'Monster' Hurricane Florence Barrels Toward the Carolinas

'Monster' Hurricane Florence Barrels Toward the Carolinas

"But it's possible the eye of Hurricane Florence will take a slight right turn to the south on Friday as it makes its way over eastern North Carolina, which could send a lot more rain to the Charleston area, according to Neil Dixon of the National Weather Service in Charleston".

More than 1.7 million people have been ordered to evacuate the coastline of the three states, while schools and factories were being shuttered.

As of 11 p.m. EST, the storm was centered 280 miles east southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and was moving northwest at 17 mph.

The storm is now expected to make landfall in the lower Outer Banks of North Carolina early Friday morning or possibly stay in the ocean before making a shift to the left toward SC. "Don't bet your life on riding out a monster".

The latest data suggests at least 20 to 30 inches will fall on southeastern North Carolina including the Wilmington, Jacksonville and Crystal Coast from Thursday through the weekend with isolated totals of up to 40 inches possible.

"Plan to be without power for days", Cooper said.

What's worse: Much of the Carolinas are already saturated from rainfall.

The storm is expected to stall once it makes landfall in the Carolinas, and if does, restoration efforts can not begin until it passes and in some cases until flood waters recede.

Despite newer forecasts showing the storm turning south, it has the potential to be devastating for the coast and inland areas.

And it led to mixed signals from officials in SC, whose governor had canceled mandatory evacuation for several coastal counties.

A storm surge warning is in effect for South Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina, Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculates that Florence could dump about 18 trillion gallons of rain in seven days over the Carolinas and Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.

"It's about rain, rain, rain", he said.

"Rather than a very narrow and intense band of winds, the winds are slightly weaker - but [they] cover a much larger area", NHC senior hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart said on Wednesday. Typically, local governments in North Carolina make the call on evacuations.

A NHS forecaster said: "This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast". But that part of the East Coast rarely sees major hurricanes. Forecasters also were tracking two other disturbances.

"Everyone who is staying here is either a real old-timer, someone who doesn't know where would be better, or someone involved in emergency operations one way or another", said Fox.

Florence will be, in all likelihood, the most intense storm to strike the region in at least 25 years, since Hugo.

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