1.5m to evacuate as Hurricane Florence approaches US

One power station, Duke Energy Corp's Brunswick plant, the closest to the area where landfall is forecast, faced a likely shutdown as a precaution. "It's time for our citizens to be a part of the team". Find out now if you live in a flood prone area or a location that will be greatly impacted by storm surge.

Byard told a news conference at FEMA headquarters in Washington that the agency has all the resources it needs to react to the natural disaster.

President Donald Trump declared states of emergency in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, and evacuation orders were issued to around 1.7 million residents across the three states.

Forecasts generally project Florence to make landfall in southeastern North Carolina on Friday as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane.

Kathleen O'Neal, a resident of Ocracoke Island in North Carolina's Barrier Islands, said she, her husband and son would ride out the storm. SC and North Carolina are evacuating people living in vulnerable areas along the coast. "This is a storm that is historic, maybe once in a lifetime". It is not expected to impact the United States coast.

A photo of George Brown, 90, is pinned to his shirt along with personal information before he is evacuated with fellow residents from a healthcare home in Morehead City, N.C., on Wednesday as Hurricane Florence approaches the east coast.

According to the latest models, the coastal areas of Charleston and Berkeley counties have the highest risk in the Lowcountry region for unsafe winds that could destroy trees, structures and create massive power outages.

More tips on hurricane preparation can be found at the National Weather Service's website.

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Beyond the Carolinas and Virginia, which were expected to bear the brunt of the storm, rain and flooding were expected through next week in certain parts of Tennessee, Georgia, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and the District of Columbia. For now, it appears 4 to 7 inches of rain could fall, but if the storms takes a more southerly track into SC that would reduce the rainfall.

"We could get some rain and gusty winds". Rain will continue through Sunday, dumping feet of water over a wide area.

When it reaches the coastline, it could sit around for days, unloading life-threatening storm surge, unsafe winds and flooding rain. The storm was about 235 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina and was moving at about 17 mph on Thursday. Strengthening is forecast through Wednesday.

In addition to wind-driven storm surges of seawater, Florence could dump up to 35 inches (89 cm) in some spots as it moves inland, forecasters said.

North and SC and Virginia declared emergencies earlier in the week.

The storm, which is poised to affect millions this week in the southeastern US, is "expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and rainfall" to North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, and parts of the Mid-Atlantic states, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

"Florence is going to approach land, and then nearly stop and become stationary and sit over the North and SC coast for a couple days", said Galarneau.

With the storm churning across the Atlantic with 140 miles per hour winds, hurricane watches and warnings include the homes of more than 5.4 million people on the East Coast.

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