Evacuations Ordered As Hurricane Florence Heads For East Coast

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Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall on Thursday and will most heavily impact the coastal states of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

The National Hurricane Center said Tuesday morning that Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 miles per hour (24 kmh) and the storm will continue a slight increase in speed during the next couple of days.

Just had calls with South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam regarding the incoming storm.

Since hurricane-force winds are likely to make their way to the coast by Wednesday, residents need to be preparing now, he added, as it will soon be far too risky to go outside.

Some meteorologists are already predicting that Florence "could be one of the worst storms in us history".

About 1 million people have been ordered to flee the entire SC coast beginning at noon Tuesday.

Schools in affected areas will begin to close on Tuesday and lanes on some highways will be reversed to aid evacuations.

As astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) saw first-hand on Monday morning, hurricanes Isaac and Helene are trailing behind Florence, making for a trio of powerful storms.

Senators and Congressmen from Virginia urged President Trump Monday to declare a federal emergency before Hurricane Florence makes landfall later this week.

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As the storm advanced, Monday afternoon was a postcard-perfect day on Holden Beach with bright blue skies, placid puffy clouds and light breezes.

Meanwhile, roughly one million people have been ordered to evacuate from South Carolina's entire coastline.

Isaac is a Category 1 hurricane that's blowing winds between 74-95 miles per hour.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said an estimated 1 million people would be fleeing his state's coast, with eastbound lanes of Interstate 26 heading into Charleston and US 501 heading into Myrtle Beach reversed to ease the exodus.

"We're in for a real episode here", McMaster said at a press conference. "Everyone in Virginia needs to prepare", he said.

In Holden Beach, North Carolina, in the storm's path, longtime residents were boarding up homes and securing possessions. The compact storm was located 880 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Tuesday morning, with sustained winds of 70 mph.

Florence has grown to a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 130mph as it descends upon the southeastern seaboard of the US.

Forecasters have warned the the hurricane could be "life threatening" by the time it strikes.

Last year, the United States was hit by three major hurricanes. The storm will also be in a position where it can continue to collect more moisture from the Atlantic - and that's an alarming combination.