More than 1 million under evacuation as Hurricane Florence nears Carolinas

Hurricane Isaac

The Atlantic hurricane's maximum sustained winds have increased to almost 130 miles per hour (195 kilometers per hour), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in an advisory issued at noon Eastern Time (1600 GMT).

A tracker map from the center on Monday forecast the hurricane making landfall in the Carolinas Thursday morning, and expected the storm to continue through Saturday morning, when it will have weakened to a tropical depression. At the time, Florence was a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale (which classifies hurricanes by strength on a scale of 1 to 5).

Florence is now moving west at around 13 miles per hour. Now tracking in the Atlantic Ocean southeast of the US mainland, "A turn toward the northwest is forecast to occur late Wednesday night", the latest NHC dispatch stated.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said Sunday he was asking President Donald Trump for a federal emergency declaration in anticipation of "significant impacts not only on our state but the entire east coast". The move will allow the state to use the National Guard for preparations and recovery if necessary.

North Carolina's wild horse herd has seen its share of storms, though.

Over the next 36 hours, Florence's winds could reach 150 mph, the hurricane center says.

The NWS is predicting "life-threatening" storm surge and inland freshwater flooding, with some models predicting upwards of 2ft of rainfall.

A story of this magnitude can cause cause catastrophic damage due to storm surge and destructive winds.

Here's another look at the projected path showed the center of the storm hitting near the North Carolina cities of Raleigh, Charlotte, and Greensboro.

Gov. Rick Scott released a statement on Monday urging Floridians to be prepared for the unexpected and remain on alert about Hurricane Florence. The governors of both states declared states of emergency.

Florence is one of three hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, along with Helene and Isaac. It has strengthened to a Category 4 a day earlier than predicted. It could hang over the area with a prolonged rain.

The NHC also was tracking two other hurricanes farther out in the Atlantic.

A mandatory evacuation order has been issued for residents living along the entire SC coast.

The State of Emergency Response Team, which includes the Emergency Management, State Highway Patrol and North Carolina National Guard, are ready to deploy.

The wild horses that make their homes on the coast of the Tar Heel state are staying put, and they might be better prepared to outlast a storm than anyone.

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