Trump declares state of emergency in Carolinas ahead of Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence as seen from the ISS on Monday morning

Florence's centre was expected to move over the Atlantic Ocean between the Bahamas and Bermuda on Tuesday and Wednesday before approaching North and SC on Thursday.

Over in the Pacific, this storm is still moving toward Hawaii, where tropical storm warnings and watches have been issued, the hurricane center said.

The large and powerful hurricane has prompted evacuation orders in North and SC and Virginia, as officials urge residents in coastal and low-lying areas to prepare for strong winds, a deep storm surge and a deluge of rainfall that could last more than 24 hours.

"North Carolina is taking Hurricane Florence seriously and you should too", said Governor Cooper.

North Carolina seems to be the state that could bear the brunt of the winds, along with SC and parts of southern Virginia.

Florence will bring a perilous risk of flooding to a broad area, and its wind and rains will also bring downed trees and other destruction to areas in its path, the hurricane center said.

In 1989, Hurricane Hugo grew to a Category 4 storm before coming ashore near Charleston, South Carolina, where it caused about $14.1 billion in damage when adjusted for inflation, making it the 13th costliest USA storm, according to Hurricane Center records. Forecasts call for 25-38 cm of rain in the hardest-hit areas, possibly more if the storm stalls over land, as expected.

Meanwhile, Pentagon spokesman, Col. Robert Manning said, "Northern Command is spending an advanced team to the emergency operations center in Raleigh, North Carolina Monday to conduct an assessment and coordinate with federal and state partners".

State emergencies have already been declared in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. It has strengthened to a Category 4 a day earlier than predicted.

Henry McMaster (R) on Monday ordered a mandatory evacuation of the state's coastline ahead of Hurricane Florence's expected arrival on Thursday. "We just don't do that", he said.

The Atlantic hurricane season that usually starts in June, has now peaks on September 10.

Hurricane Florence may become a category 4 storm.

. "But the effects of this storm will be felt statewide, and I encourage everyone in Virginia to prepare now".

The National Weather Service also reminded residents to continue assembling a survival kit, secure loose objects, prepare to leave areas that may flood and stay indoors during high winds.

The city of Wilmington in North Carolina is expected to be the first major city hit by the storm.

It is now moving west-northwest at about 15 miles per hour and that speed is expected to increase in the next few days, says the center.

Last year, the United States was hit by three major hurricanes.

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