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Hurricane Florence's winds and rain begin lashing Carolinas

Hurricane Florence's winds and rain begin lashing Carolinas

More than a million people have been ordered to evacuate coastal areas ahead of the arrival of Florence, which boasts sustained winds of 130 miles per hour.

Florence, a Category 4 hurricane with 130 mile-per-hour winds, was expected to reach the coast of the Carolinas Thursday or Friday, but the most recent National Hurricane Center forecasts show the storm taking a sharp southward turn toward Georgia after landfall.

"Forecasts generally project the storm to make landfall between northern SC and North Carolina's Outer Banks as a strong Category 3 on Thursday, although shifts in the track are possible and storm impacts will expand great distances beyond where landfall occurs".

In Virginia, 245,000 coastal residents were ordered to evacuate, including from the Eastern Shore.

"It truly is really about the whole size of this storm", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said. Although the latest tracks suggest that the center of the storm will pass to our south, we'll still likely feel some effects as early as Thursday.

At this height of the Atlantic hurricane season, Florence was being trailed on east-to-west paths by two other storms, Hurricane Helene and Tropical Storm Isaac.

The hurricane could also produce heavy and excessive rainfall - up to 40 inches in isolated areas in the Carolinas and anywhere between 6 to 12 inches elsewhere in the Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic region.




Expected to make landfall by Friday, the impact of the storm will be widespread, with destructive winds, life-threatening storm surge, risky surf, torrential rainfall, flooding and the potential for tornadoes.

Forecasters said Florence's eye could come ashore early Friday around the North Carolina-South Carolina line.

On Wednesday morning, the president urged those in the path of Florence to "get out of its way".

As of Tuesday, more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out.

"Don't play games with it", he added.

"We hope to have something left when we get home", she said. "It's a big one".

With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bulls-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand.


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