Millions on US East Coast brace for 'extremely dangerous' Hurricane Florence

Millions on US East Coast brace for 'extremely dangerous' Hurricane Florence

National Hurricane Centre director Ken Graham warned that Florence is forecast to linger over the Carolinas once it reaches shore.

Florence, now a Category 4 hurricane, is headed toward the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states with 140 miles per hour winds and is expected to make landfall late Thursday or early Friday.

- A hurricane watch is in effect from Edisto Beach, South Carolina, to the North Carolina-Virginia border.

Despite uncertainty of the impact Hurricane Florence might have on Howard County, officials are preparing for the worst.

The water could rise 6 to 12 feet in the area of Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, including the Neuse and Pamlico rivers, says the National Hurricane Center. The storm, as of Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. EDT, has sustained maximum winds of 130 miles per hour, keeping it as a Category 4, and is still expected to be a major hurricane when it hits land.

About halfway between Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Helene is the small but unsafe Tropical Storm Isaac, which was downgraded from hurricane status early this morning (Sept. 11). Hurricane to tropical-storm-force winds could extend inland depending on the storm's exact track.

Forecasters are predicting that Florence will make landfall in the Carolinas late Thursday or early Friday as a Category 3 hurricane. Other counties are evacuating low lying and flood prone areas.

SC reversed highways to help with storm evacuations, allowing all lanes to flow away from the coast.

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"You're going to get heavy rain, catastrophic life-threatening storm surge and also the winds".

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ordered the evacuation to start at noon Tuesday as Hurricane Florence approaches.

"That scenario has a high probability of occurring in North Carolina and Virginia and possibly portions of neighboring states in the Southeast, Appalachians and mid-Atlantic late this week and this coming weekend".

Not only will hurricane force winds be a major concern along the coastal locations, but flooding rains will also be a high risk.

Another day closer to landfall and unfortunately no significant changes in the forecast for Hurricane Florence. In the middle of what has been a very quiet season in the tropics, Florence is proof that it only takes one. "It's more like a (Hurricane) Harvey situation, where it'll just slowly wind down".

Although it's hard to attribute any storm's intensification to one specific factor over another, a scientist explained some of the potential reasons to Fox News.

Southwest Airlines said travelers booked to fly from six cities from Baltimore to SC can rebook their flights within 14 days of their original dates with no additional cost.