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One million asked to evacuate as Hurricane Florence closes in

One million asked to evacuate as Hurricane Florence closes in

"A high pressure system, known as a Bermuda high has been in place, forcing Florence to take a path south and west of what we typically see", Klotz said.

It's then forecast to close in on North or SC on Thursday local time, hitting a stretch of coastline that's vulnerable to rising sea levels due to climate change.

A life-threatening storm surge is forecast in portions of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

Hurricane Florence, which was briefly downgraded to a tropical storm last week, was re-upgraded to hurricane status on Sunday and looks like it is destined to barrel straight at the U.S.' East Coast.

Mr Graham said: "The water could overtake some of these barrier islands and keep on going". These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for the coasts of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, and states of emergency have been declared there as well as Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Residents of the eastern United States - particularly the Carolinas and Virginia - are bracing for a hurricane, as Hurricane Florence gathers power while forming over the Atlantic. Seven other UNC athletic events are also canceled or postponed because of Hurricane Florence.

The very centre of that bullseye may be Camp Lejeune, the sprawling Marine Corps training base, where authorities were opening emergency operation centres, staging equipment and urging families on the base to build survival kits with food and equipment needed to sustain themselves for 72 hours.

"Due to impacts from Hurricane Florence, an evacuation order has been issued for coastal SC, including Charleston, Dorchester, and Berkeley counties, beginning at noon Tuesday, Sept. 11", a spokesperson for Boeing said by email.

By 5 pm, the storm's winds had again increased to 140 miles per hour, with even stronger gusts.

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Since then, the coastal population has grown by thousands of people.

Hurricane to tropical-storm-force winds could extend inland depending on the storm's exact track.

A hurricane watch is now in effect for Edisto Beach South Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border as well as Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, the NHC said.

On Monday, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) team flew its four-propeller P-3 craft through the eye of Hurricane Florence, capturing stunning video of the Category 4 storm.

"But if you put a foot or 2 - or maybe in some isolated places more - of rain over hills and mountains, you have a very different kind of problem, which is really more risky than the flat situation, as bad as that was", he said.

"I'm telling them to go inland, but I'm anxious about the rain and tornadoes too", Roberts said.

Meanwhile, two other storms were also spinning in the Atlantic.

All signs pointed to a stronger, slower, wider and wetter hurricane in the days ahead, forecasters said. Hurricanes need the warm waters of the ocean to survive, and as soon as they go over land, they lose that sustaining energy.

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


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