A hurricane hunter with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) flew into the category three Hurricane Florence and reported back Wednesday what he was seeing. "T$3 his is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you".
Florence is set to reach the coastline of North and SC early Friday (Sept. 14), according to NASA and the National Hurricane Center (NHC), a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Due to the storm's enormous size and power, it's been a recent - if not frightening - muse for astronaut photography.
The hurricane center's projected track previously had Florence charging into the North Carolina coast on Friday.
An image taken by NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold of Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic Ocean, approaching the Carolinas on September 12, 2018.
As one of the nation's foremost experts on storm surge, he warned that if Florence hits at high tide, it could pose serious risks to property and life for any low-lying areas along the coast as well as along any inlets.
Eventually, Florence will veer north into the Appalachian Mountains, bringing soaking rains to Virginia and western North Carolina, before sputtering out late next week near DE and Maryland, the FWS reported.
"Get out of its way, don't play games with it, it's a big one, maybe as big as they've seen", Trump said. Nathan Deal issued an emergency declaration for the entire state to ease regulations on trucks hauling gasoline and relief supplies.
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"Residents in the path of these devastating storms should comply with all evacuation orders and other emergency instructions".
Incredible time-lapse footage filmed from a hurricane-hunting plane shows what's it's like to fly through the eye of Florence, the storm that's already forced more than 1 million people to evacuate.
Those facing the most serious threat are in the Carolinas, as Category 4 Hurricane Florence barrels toward the coast, with an expected landfall Friday.
Hurricane Mangkhut is expected to hit the Philippines on Saturday before moving towards southern China on Sunday afternoon.
"I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in the path of Hurricane Florence", Deal said. "I encourage Georgians to be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas".
In a trailer park outside Wilmington, Alondra Espinoza was preparing to leave with her two young children.
Although its peak winds diminished, forecasters said the storm's total energy grew as its inner core and outlying bands of wind expanded.