'Don't play games with it': Florence takes aim at Carolinas

Hurricane map uses an unfortunate graphic to display devastation

Homes along the coast in Topsail Beach, North Carolina, are evacuated before Hurricane Florence on September 11, 2018.

A Hurricane Warning from Duck, North Carolina south into SC, including Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

The National Hurricane Center's projected track had Florence hovering off the southern North Carolina coast from Thursday night (Friday NZT) until landfall Saturday morning (Sunday NZT) or so, about a day later than previously expected.

The hurricane is expected to make landfall somewhere in the Carolinas early Friday.

States up and down the East Coast have a great potential for severe weather.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, concerned the storm would bring its devastation south, issued an emergency declaration for all 159 counties in the state.

At the White House, President Donald Trump urged people to "get out of its way".

Weekend sporting events have already been canceled, with possibly more to come.

North Carolina farms are moving livestock to safety.

North Florida is still outside the cone of forecast tracks for the center of the storm, but the size of Florence means impacts will extend to a large area of the Southeast. And that's without taking storm surge into account.

Their entire neighborhood evacuated in Wilmington, North Carolina, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter's one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte. About 1.7 million residents have been urged to flee from parts of North and SC. Many major roads and arteries have reversed traffic flow to help residents evacuate quickly.

Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a Category 2 storm but it is still considered an extremely unsafe and life-threatening storm.

President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid. Upon its arrival, the National Hurricane Center projects that Florence could drop anywhere from 20-40 inches of rain along the Carolina coast. Florence could cause surges of 6 to 9 feet if the storm's peak impact occurs during high tide.

Forecasters anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast. Tropical Storm Olivia is expected to move over Hawaii Wednesday or Thursday, KHNL reported.

"Historical rainfall amounts from #Florence are possible with UNPRECEDENTED flooding", according to the National Weather Service office in Newport and Morehead City, on North Carolina's coast.

Florence is so wide that a life-threatening storm surge was being pushed 300 miles ahead of its eye, and so wet that a swath from SC to OH and Pennsylvania could get deluged.

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