Pence heading to Georgia ahead of Hurricane Florence

A storm surge prediction map

A storm surge prediction map

Hurricane Florence, on track to become the first Category 4 storm to make a direct hit on North Carolina in six decades, howled closer to shore on Tuesday, threatening to unleash deadly pounding surf, days of torrential rain and severe flooding.

Hurricane Florence is packing sustained winds of 140 miles (220 km) per hour and remains an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm as it approaches the United States eastern coastline, specifically the Carolinas.

On Tuesday evening, the National Hurricane Center issues storm surge warnings for the areas around the Outer Banks in North Carolina and the South Santee River in SC. "You're going to be displaced from your home in coastal areas".

The National Hurricane Center Tuesday afternoon increased its rainfall forecast to 15 to 25 inches of rain and 35 inches in isolated spots.

Hurricane-force winds (74 to 95 mph) are now extending out up to 60 miles from the center of the storm, and tropical-storm-force winds are being felt as much as 175 miles around the storm. It is an extremely unsafe, life-threatening, historic hurricane.

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Jeff Byard of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it was imperative locals heed the evacuation warnings. "If we try to leave, we'll just get stuck in the rain", she said.

Graphic shows the storm track of Hurricane Florence.

Emlaw explained that there is a wide range of possibilities in rainfall amounts in the Lowcountry because no one knows whether the storm will stall offshore or move inland. "Now it might be time for the exam", Baxley said late in the morning.

Cooper and his SC counterpart, Henry McMaster, told the more than 1 million people who have been directed to leave that if they don't do so, they are on their own.

The National Weather Service in a 2014 report said that most surge deaths occurred in Hurricane Katrina and several other big, powerful storms.

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"No one should enter the surf due to life threatening rip currents", said a statement issued Wednesday morning by the weather service.

The second map includes the regions that could be impacted by Florence, whether that's from wind, flooding, or coastal storm-surge.

"We are sparing no expense".

"This will be a storm that creates and causes massive damage to our country". But despite that, bad things can happen when you're talking about a storm this size.

President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.

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This means the storm will have less of an impact in northern North Carolina and southern Virginia and more of an impact on southern North Carolina, South Carolina and northern Georgia. A steady stream of vehicles filled with people and belongings is moving inland.

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