'Harvey of the East Coast:' Florence's worst impact could be catastrophic flooding

Amtrak is canceling service south of Washington ahead of Hurricane Florence

The National Hurricane Center will issue its next update on the storm at 11 a.m. EDT.

The NHC said Florence is expected to be an "extremely risky major hurricane" when it makes landfall in the Carolinas late Thursday or early Friday, bringing life-threatening storm surge to coastal areas.

The NHC issued a hurricane watch for the coastal area stretching from SC up through North Carolina and into southern Virginia.

Hurricane Florence heading towards the US East Coast. You are going to be displaced from your home in the coastal areas, and there will be flooding in the inland areas as well.

The powerful storm is expected to make landfall in the Carolinas late Thursday, and almost 1.5 million people are under mandatory evacuation orders in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

McMaster has already declared a state of emergency in SC and asked President Donald Trump for a federal declaration ahead of the storm, which intensified Monday to a potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour (195 kph).

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Florence was located about 405 miles south of Bermuda, moving to the west, northwest at 15 mph.

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warned that Florence was forecast to linger over the Carolinas once it reaches shore.

The cone expands as Florence is forecast to make landfall late Thursday night into Friday morning along the coastal Carolina's.

South Carolina's governor ordered the state's entire coastline to be evacuated starting at noon Tuesday and predicted that 1 million people would flee.

Southeastern North Carolina remains in the middle of the storm's "cone of uncertainty", with the cone extending from roughly Hilton Head, S.C., in the south to the Chesapeake Bay in the north.

Hurricane Florence appears ready to churn through the Carolinas, bringing along massive winds, rainfall and flooding.

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Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm's arrival, allowing the state to muster personnel and equipment needed to deal with possible flooding and wind damage.

The NWS predicts potential storm surges of up to 3.6m on the coasts along with dangerously large swells and rip currents. The biggest risks from Hurricane Florence may not come from wind, but from the associated rainfall.

Oliva said various models have the storm's eye making landfall anywhere between Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Cape Hatteras in the Outer Banks.

"These folks are putting themselves in harm's way to help fellow Americans, and we thank them so much for that", said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito.

Hurricane Florence is getting worse. Duke Energy spokesman Ryan Mosier said operators would begin shutting down nuclear plants at least two hours before hurricane-force winds arrive.

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

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