Governor Deal issues State of Emergency across Georgia

Predictions now have the storm stalling and making a slight southward turn after it makes landfall. "If you are on the coast, there is still time to get out safely".

"Unfortunately, Hurricane Florence is setting out to be a devastating event to the Carolinas, and potentially Virginia as well".

Florence is being trailed in the Atlantic by two other storms - Hurricane Helene and Tropical Storm Isaac.

Timing: When Will Hurricane Florence Strike?

It is very important to point out that changes in the forecast track are still possible and even small changes in the storm could greatly change the expected conditions in your area.

Fears about Hurricane Florence spread south on Wednesday, with Georgia declaring a state of emergency after officials in the Carolinas urged people to evacuate the coast ahead of the storm's expected pounding winds and rain-driven floods. To reinforce the order to evacuate, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said "This is not a storm that you need to try to ride out". There are 5.25 million people under hurricane warnings and watches and another 4.89 million under tropical storm watches and warnings.

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"The National Hurricane Center forecasts additional strengthening for Florence before it reaches the coastline of North Carolina and SC early Friday, Sept. 14", NASA wrote in the description of the video.

The Category 4 storm was expected to start hitting the North and SC coasts sometime Thursday or Friday, and should make landfall near Wilmington, N.C., early Saturday morning, according to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center.

At 11am (1600 GMT), the eye of the storm was about 485 miles (785 kms) southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving in a northwest direction at 15 mph (24 kph).

As of Tuesday (Wednesday NZT), about 1.7 million people in North and SC and Virginia were under warnings to evacuate the coast, and hurricane watches and warnings extended across an area with about 5.4 million residents.

Significantly, hurricane-force winds extended 70 miles (110 kilometers) from the eye, and tropical-storm-force winds reached 175 miles (280 kilometers) outward, making outdoor preparations hard or unsafe as early as Thursday. Cars and trucks full of people and belongings streamed inland.

All three states ordered mass evacuations along the coast. Flooding well inland could wreak environmental havoc by washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.

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