"In light of the storm's forecasted southward track after making landfall, I encourage Georgians to be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas".
Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.
Florence is moving over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas today, and is expected to approach the coast of North Carolina or SC in the hurricane warning area on Friday. All three states ordered mass evacuations along the coast.
"The big picture: There are several characteristics of the changing climate that are helping to increase the risks of damage from Hurricane Florence, even though global warming is not directly causing such a storm to spin up". The steering currents that are moving the storm along are expected to collapse, leaving the center of the storm drifting over the same area for up to a week.
People fleeing coastal North and SC clogged highways early Wednesday as Florence bore down on the coast for a direct hit in a low-lying region dense with beachfront vacation homes. The Triad has around a 50% chance of having sustained Tropical Storm force winds.
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Washington Post: "Category 4 Hurricane Florence drawing closer to Carolinas and threatens "catastrophic" flooding" - "Expanding in size, violent Hurricane Florence is continuing on a beeline toward the East Coast as an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 hurricane". North Carolina alone could get from 20 to 30 inches, with isolated spots possibly receiving 40 inches.
Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations hard or unsafe.
"Watch out, America! #HurricaneFlorence is so enormous, we could only capture her with a super wide-angle lens", German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this morning, along with the photos to prove it. "Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you".
Greg Postel, hurricane and storm specialist for The Weather Channel.
That system could develop into a tropical depression by Thursday night.