Search-and-rescue team from Maryland heads to SC before storm

NASA shows Hurricane Florence over the Atlantic Ocean seen from the International Space Station, in space on Sept. 10 2018

So far, more than one million people along the coasts of North and SC and southern Virginia have fled.

The Category 4 storm was expected to start hitting the North and SC coasts sometime Thursday or Friday, and should make landfall near Wilmington, N.C., early Saturday morning, according to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center.

The state of North Carolina is preparing for a major storm.

While most people, including President Donald Trump, grew concerned over its massive size - some people couldn't help themselves from commenting underneath the comical graphic. "It's a big one", he said. North and SC and Virginia declared emergencies earlier in the week.

The shift in the projected track spread concern to areas that once thought they were out of range.

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

"We've had our lessons". A NOAA buoy located about 100 miles northeast of Florence's eye recently reported a sustained wind of 53 mph (85 km/h) and a gust to 74 mph (119 km/h). "The latest warnings from the National Hurricane Center predict totals of up to 40 inches in isolated areas, far above the 27.84" that fell in Georgia during Hurricane Alberto in 1994 (the current East Coast record), or the 10.28 inches that fell in SC during Hugo.

Wrap up your preparations today and make plans to get to your safe place by Wednesday night or first thing Thursday morning in advance of Hurricane Florence.

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. Cars and trucks full of people and belongings streamed inland. But the change was probably temporary and didn't do anything to lessen the danger, said Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"And that's saying a lot given the impacts we've seen from Hurricanes Diana, Hugo, Fran, Bonnie, Floyd, and Matthew", the organization said in a statement that was circulated on Twitter.

A storm as big as Hurricane Florence will hit with a "one-two punch" deluge of water, Erik Salna, the associate director of the International Hurricane Research Center at Florida International University, says.

Wilson County is under a Tropical Storm Watch and could receive anywhere from 8 to 12 inches of rain, Sharp said, with 15 to 16 inches possible in areas. Most other beachgoers were long done. "Also, a little creepy".

Michelle Stober loaded up valuables at her home on Wrightsville Beach to drive back to her primary residence in Cary, N.C.

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