One million asked to evacuate as Hurricane Florence closes in

'Not a pretty sight': Hurricane Florence has experts worried

One million asked to evacuate as Hurricane Florence closes in

"The centre of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the southeastern coast of the U.S. on Thursday", the NHC said. Forecasters don't believe Florence will maintain its maximum strength as it nears the coast Thursday.

USC Athletics sends its thoughts and prayers to those preparing for the storm and hope that you will be safe and careful during this time.

In addition, public schools in 26 counties will be closed starting Tuesday.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's office said Florence is already being felt along the state's coast, with large sea swells resulting in life-threatening rip currents and surf.

By Noon EDT Monday, Florence had top sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (195 kph).

The center of the massive storm is forecast to make landfall along a stretch of coastline already saturated by rising seas and then meander Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The storm's first effects were already apparent on barrier islands as risky rip currents hit beaches and seawater flowed over the road.

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Given its expected slow speed once it rolls ashore, they warned the heavy rain and storm could spread across a wide area. Cheryl Browning lives with her husband and son, who has terminal cancer, in Richlands, North Carolina.

The exact track, overall size and forward speed of the storm will determine which locations along the coast receive the worst of Florence's damaging winds, heavy rain and storm surge flooding.

Manning adds hundreds of troops are ready to deploy at a moments notice, while the Federal Emergency Management Agency is setting up operations at Fort AP Hill, in Virginia. The storm was moving west at 13 miles per hour, the hurricane center said.

Airlines, including American and Southwest, have started letting passengers change travel plans that take them into the hurricane's possible path.

"The bottom line is that there is high confidence that Florence will be a large and extremely unsafe hurricane, regardless of its exact intensity", U.S. Hurricane Specialist Eric Blake wrote in a forecast analysis. The Center projects wind speed will continue to increase, potentially elevating Florence to a Category 5.

"Unfortunately, the models were right".

"Florence is expected to be an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday", the NHC said in a bulletin.

At 5 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Florence was 575 miles east of Cape Fear, N.C., moving west-northwest at 17 mph.

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"And your umbrella-guns, and your beer, and your beer-guns, and your tiny umbrellas to keep your beer dry, and join people from all along the East Coast in scaring away Hurricane Florence to protect our country from this foreign invader!"

Two other storms were spinning in the Atlantic.

That's because in addition to the extensive flooding, the hurricane is expected to knock out power along the coast, according to an analysis done by a team headed by Seth Guikema, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of MI.

Preparations for Florence are intensifying up and down the densely populated coast.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Florence has maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour.

U.S. President Donald Trump, whose administration was criticized as being slow to respond to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico previous year, canceled a political rally planned for Friday in Jackson, Mississippi, over safety concerns related to Florence, his campaign said.

"I think this is very Harvey-esque", said University of Miami hurricane expert Brian McNoldy. He estimated that about one million people will be affected by order, including residents and visitors.

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