Florence is expected to make landfall late Thursday night or early Friday morning, Mountain Time, somewhere between Atlantic Beach, NC and Savannah, GA.
Florence exploded into a potentially catastrophic hurricane Monday as it closed in on North and SC, carrying winds up to 140 miles per hour (220 kph) and water that could wreak havoc over a wide stretch of the eastern United States later this week.
In a news release Wednesday, Gov. Nathan Deal says the state "is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Florence". "Take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other unsafe conditions".
Early Thursday Florence was about 235 miles (378 kilometers) east southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina and about 280 miles (450 kilometers) east southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
On Wednesday, the Carolina Beach Fire Department ordered residents to leave the island in preparation for the hurricane, CNN affiliate WECT reported.
Hurricane Florence is blasting toward the Carolinas, carrying sustained winds of up to 130 miles per hour and the threat of "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall", the National Hurricane Center says.
President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP warns crime, immigration will spike if Dems win Former NSA chief breaks with other ex-intel officials over Brennan letter Puerto Rico governor issues scathing statement after Trump touts response to hurricane MORE has already declared a state of emergency for South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Pastides announced via Twitter on Wednesday morning that the university had canceled classes at least through Saturday.
Helene was weakening, however, and posed no danger to land, the NHC said, while Isaac could bring heavy rain to Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe.
The National Weather Service said 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million live in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches. So as you can see, they're forecasting a major landfalling storm - Category 3 or 4 storm at landfall. Shelters in the city were filling and some people were being bused inland to Raleigh, even though some residents there were told they might have to evacuate because of flooding. "Failure to take action will likely result in serious injury or loss of life". "With time, the wind pushes the water into every nook and cranny you can think of", Graham said.
"Do you want to get hit with a train or do you want to get hit with a cement truck?" said Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. As the storm moves inland, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland will also be in peril.
The path of Hurricane Florence has changed since Cooper made that statement Tuesday. It will be arriving soon.