The National Hurricane Center (NHC) says it expects the storm to make landfall in North Carolina or SC late Thursday into Friday as "an extremely risky major hurricane". And Virginia's governor ordered a mandatory evacuation for some residents of low-lying coastal areas, while some coastal counties in North Carolina have done the same. A wider area will be impacted as Florence moves inland.
It is expected to make landfall in the US, Thursday as an "extremely dangerous" hurricane according to the National Hurricane Center.
Hurricane Florence remains a strong Category 4 hurricane Tuesday morning with sustained winds of 140 miles per hour. He said it is expected to produce two to three feet of rain, mostly centred on North Carolina, Virginia, and the northern sections of SC.
On the five-level Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale Florence is a Category 4, meaning it is capable of causing "catastrophic damage".
But tropical storm-force winds (greater than 39 miles per hour) should arrive more than 12 hours earlier - around sunrise on Thursday. Other counties are evacuating low lying and flood prone areas.
Florence is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 15 to 20 inches with isolated areas of 30 inches along the current track over portions of North Carolina, Virginia and northern SC through Saturday.
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Hurricane Florence appears ready to churn through the Carolinas, bringing along massive winds, rainfall and flooding.
Forecasters said Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic, between Bermuda and the Bahamas, Tuesday and Wednesday - and approach the Carolina coast Thursday.
Oliva said various models have the storm's eye making landfall anywhere between Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Cape Hatteras in the Outer Banks.
The Pentagon said Monday it has sent an advance military team to an emergency operations center in Raleigh, North Carolina, to coordinate with federal and state partners in relief efforts.
Officials warn there is a chance of "life-threatening inundation from rising water" over the next 48 hours as Florence heads for the US East Coast.
Simpson said the coverage and attention on Florence is a reminder for New Englanders of the importance of being vigilant during hurricane season and preparing for severe weather "way before any potential event".
Another day closer to landfall and unfortunately no significant changes in the forecast for Hurricane Florence. Also, looking like a direct hit on North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Even normal water is warm enough for a storm to form there, but this adds to the storm's fuel and its rainfall. It was the first time South Caroline has reversed its highways for an evacuation since Hurricane Floyd in 1999.