Hurricane Florence Shifts Course, Will Make a 'Grand Tour' of Southeastern States

Bracing for Hurricane Florence | Don't Miss This

Authorities in Chatham County, Georgia, which borders SC and includes the historic port city of Savannah, urged residents who feel unsafe "to evacuate as they see fit".

And if Florence weren't enough, other storms out there are threatening people.

The storm is moving steadily toward the Carolinas' coastal areas.

The storm's maximum sustained winds were clocked at 120 miles per hour (193 km per hour), down from a peak of 140 mph a day earlier before Florence was downgraded from a Category 4.

Hurricane Florence is getting a lot of notice, at this point, and rightfully so.

The East Coast isn't the only area facing the brunt of a storm.

The NHC measured wave heights of up to 83 feet - the equivalent of a seven-story building - as Florence churned in the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, jamming westbound roads and highways for miles. "We are ready. We're as ready as anybody's ever been".

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"From 8am until 2pm we were slammed", said Johnson, who sold scores of bags of sand over the weekend, saving just a few to barricade the store's own doors. The South Carolina record may fall too.

The NHC notes that amount of rainfall would "produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding". Based on the current forecast track, the North Carolina coast is most susceptible to a direct strike while impacts are to extend far from the center.

Jeff Byard, who is the FEMA associate administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery, said that Florence is "a very risky storm", Fox News reported. Millions of people were expected to lose power from the storm and restoration could take weeks.

The NHC said the first tropical storm-force winds of at least 39 miles per hour (63 kph) would hit the region early on Thursday with the storm's centre reaching the coast Friday.

"This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast", the National Weather Service in Wilmington, North Carolina, wrote on September 11.

The wide storm has weakened to a Category 2 hurricane and forecasters expect top winds to drop more as it nears the shore, but they're sharing a giant dose of uncertainty. "I encourage Georgians to be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas".

Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland have declared states of emergency. The only periphery effect from Florence will be higher surf by Wednesday and Thursday.

In Wilmington, Solange Iliou Thompson closed down her restaurant, Indochine, because all of her employees had left the city.

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