Hurricane Florence could be strengthened as the evacuation of millions is ordered

Hurricane Florence is expected to strengthen to category 5 on Tuesday with more than 1.5 million people ordered to evacuate as powerful storm barrels head north and south of Carolina.

Hurricane Florence is expected to strengthen to category 5 on Tuesday with more than 1.5 million people ordered to evacuate as the powerful storm moves toward North Carolina and South Carolina.

Currently, with winds of up to 140 mph as Category 4 storm, Hurricane Florence is expected to approach Category 5 status later on Tuesday as it slows down and strengthens off the Atlantic coast of the US. UU

The National Hurricane Center expects Florence to become a "major, extremely dangerous hurricane" & # 39; Thursday night before making landfall, mostly in southeastern North Carolina, near the border with South Carolina.

More than 1.5 million people were ordered to evacuate their homes in preparation for what could become one of the most catastrophic hurricanes to affect the eastern seaboard in decades.

Hurricane Florence is expected to strengthen to category 5 on Tuesday with more than 1.5 million people ordered to evacuate as powerful storm barrels head north and south of Carolina.

Hurricane Florence is expected to strengthen to category 5 on Tuesday with more than 1.5 million people ordered to evacuate as powerful storm barrels head north and south of Carolina.

The National Hurricane Center expects Florence to become a "major, extremely dangerous hurricane" & # 39; Thursday night before touching land, probably in southeastern North Carolina.

The National Hurricane Center expects Florence to become a "major, extremely dangerous hurricane" & # 39; Thursday night before touching land, probably in southeastern North Carolina.

The National Hurricane Center expects Florence to become a "major, extremely dangerous hurricane" & # 39; Thursday night before touching land, probably in southeastern North Carolina.

The governor of South Carolina ordered the evacuation of the entire state's coastline starting at noon on Tuesday and predicted that 1 million people would flee when the roads receded.

Virginia issued a mandatory evacuation order for about 245,000 residents in coastal areas prone to flooding from 8 a. M.

At least 250,000 more people were due to be evacuated from the North Outer Banks in North Carolina on Tuesday after more than 50,000 people were ordered to leave Hatteras and Ocracoke, the southernmost barrier island in the state.

The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland have declared states of emergency.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said his state is in the eye & # 39; and he urged people to "prepare now."

The very center of that target shot may be Camp Lejeune, the expanding Marine Corps training base. The 7-day rain forecast on Tuesday showed 20 inches or more falling there, part of a wide swath of rain that could total ten inches or more over much of Virginia and soak the nation's capital.

Florence could hit the Carolinas stronger than any hurricane since Hazel packed 130 mph winds in 1954. That Category 4 storm destroyed 15,000 buildings and 19 people in North Carolina. In the six decades since then, thousands of people have moved to the coast.

The first effects of the storm were already evident in the barrier islands when the dangerous currents of surf hit the beaches and the sea water flows on a state highway, the precursor of a storm surge that could devastate the dunes and submerge entire communities.

Rob Quinn climbs aboard the Lagerheads Tavern in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, after 300,000 people were ordered to evacuate the coastal areas of the state

Rob Quinn climbs aboard the Lagerheads Tavern in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, after 300,000 people were ordered to evacuate the coastal areas of the state

Rob Quinn climbs aboard the Lagerheads Tavern in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, after 300,000 people were ordered to evacuate the coastal areas of the state

Walker Townsend (right) and Dalton Trout (center) fill sandbags on the island of Palms, South Carolina, on Monday, while ordering the entire state coastline to prepare for mandatory evacuations.

Walker Townsend (right) and Dalton Trout (center) fill sandbags on the island of Palms, South Carolina, on Monday, while ordering the entire state coastline to prepare for mandatory evacuations.

Walker Townsend (right) and Dalton Trout (center) fill sandbags on the island of Palms, South Carolina, on Monday, while ordering the entire state coastline to prepare for mandatory evacuations.

Authorities warned of waves of life-threatening coastal storms and the possibility of Florence triggering prolonged torrential rains and widespread flooding, especially if it stays inside for several days.

The director of the National Hurricane Center, Ken Graham, warned of "staggering" amounts of rain that can extend hundreds of miles inland and cause flash floods in the mid-Atlantic region.

Forecasts expect between 10 and 15 inches of rain in the most affected areas, possibly more if the storm stagnates on the ground, as expected.

Aware of the devastation caused by a series of lethal hurricanes in the United States last year, residents in the Carolinas began disaster preparedness rituals: covering windows and buying groceries, water and gasoline.

For many people, the challenge might be to find a safe haven: if Florence stops slowly along the coast, it could bring torrential rains to the Appalachian mountains and even West Virginia, causing flash floods, landslides and other dangerous conditions in Places that usually do not get much tropical weather.

This is going to produce heavy rain, and it may not move very fast. The threat will be inland, so I'm afraid, based on my experience at FEMA, that the public is probably not as prepared as everyone would like, "said Craig Fugate, a former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Currently, with winds of up to 140 mph as Category 4 storm, Hurricane Florence is expected to approach Category 5 status later on Tuesday as it slows down and strengthens off the Atlantic coast of the US. UU

Currently, with winds of up to 140 mph as Category 4 storm, Hurricane Florence is expected to approach Category 5 status later on Tuesday as it slows down and strengthens off the Atlantic coast of the US. UU

Currently, with winds of up to 140 mph as Category 4 storm, Hurricane Florence is expected to approach Category 5 status later on Tuesday as it slows down and strengthens off the Atlantic coast of the US. UU

The National Hurricane Center expects Florence to become a "major, extremely dangerous hurricane" & # 39; Thursday night before touching down

The National Hurricane Center expects Florence to become a "major, extremely dangerous hurricane" & # 39; Thursday night before touching down

The National Hurricane Center expects Florence to become a "major, extremely dangerous hurricane" & # 39; Thursday night before touching down

The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland have declared states of emergency

The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland have declared states of emergency

The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland have declared states of emergency

Hurricane Florence is seen from the International Space Station as it flutters in the Atlantic Ocean towards the east coast of the United States on Monday

Hurricane Florence is seen from the International Space Station as it flutters in the Atlantic Ocean towards the east coast of the United States on Monday

Hurricane Florence is seen from the International Space Station as it flutters in the Atlantic Ocean towards the east coast of the United States on Monday

The potential path of the storm also includes half a dozen nuclear power plants, wells containing coal ash and other industrial waste, and numerous pig farms that store animal waste in massive open-air lagoons.

Airlines, including American, Southwest, Delta and JetBlue, have begun allowing affected passengers to change their travel plans without the usual rates.

A warm ocean is the fuel that fuels hurricanes, and this area of ​​the ocean is reaching temperatures near 85 degrees (30 degrees Celsius), wrote hurricane expert Eric Blake. And with little cutting wind to separate the storm, Florence's hurricane winds expanded.

"Unfortunately, the models were right, Florence has intensified rapidly in an extremely dangerous hurricane," Blake wrote late Monday, predicting that the hurricane's maximum sustained winds would approach the 157 mph threshold for a Category 5 scenario. of wost-case. The forecast for Tuesday morning is still compatible with this, said the National Hurricane Center.

At 5 am. On Tuesday, Florence was about 975 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and was moving west-northwest at 15 mph. Its center will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and will approach the coast of South Carolina or North Carolina on Thursday.

Two other storms were turning in the Atlantic. Hurricane Isaac was expected to lose steam on reaching the Caribbean, and Helene, much farther to the sea, may drift into the open sea as the 2018 hurricane season reaches its peak.

In the Pacific, Hurricane Olivia triggered warnings on multiple Hawaiian islands, which blew westward and expected to reach the state as late as Tuesday or early Wednesday.

Empty shelves are seen in a supermarket while residents prepare for Florence's descent in Columbia, South Carolina.

Empty shelves are seen in a supermarket while residents prepare for Florence's descent in Columbia, South Carolina.

Empty shelves are seen in a supermarket while residents prepare for Florence's descent in Columbia, South Carolina.

Empty shelves are seen in a supermarket while residents prepare for Florence's descent in Columbia, South Carolina.

Empty shelves are seen in a supermarket while residents prepare for Florence's descent in Columbia, South Carolina.

Brian Franklin prepares more generators for sale as people buy supplies at The Home Depot in Wilmington

Brian Franklin prepares more generators for sale as people buy supplies at The Home Depot in Wilmington

Brian Franklin prepares more generators for sale as people buy supplies at The Home Depot in Wilmington

Florence strengthened rapidly in a potentially catastrophic hurricane on Monday when it approached North and South Carolina

Florence strengthened rapidly in a potentially catastrophic hurricane on Monday when it approached North and South Carolina

Florence strengthened rapidly in a potentially catastrophic hurricane on Monday when it approached North and South Carolina

Chris Rayner helps customers charge their cars while they buy supplies at The Home Depot in Wilmington

Chris Rayner helps customers charge their cars while they buy supplies at The Home Depot in Wilmington

Chris Rayner helps customers charge their cars while they buy supplies at The Home Depot in Wilmington

Customers line up to buy propane at the Socastee hardware store, before the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Customers line up to buy propane at the Socastee hardware store, before the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Customers line up to buy propane at the Socastee hardware store, before the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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