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Storm surges up to 3.9 meters (13 feet), the possibility of tornados and nearly a meter of rain in some areas of North and SC were expected when Hurricane Florence makes landfall late Thursday.

The storm is expected to make landfall early Friday morning near Wilmington, North Carolina.

The National Hurricane Center said it had winds of 210 kilometers (130 miles) per hour and a threat of "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall".

The storm could cause a life-threatening storm surge, essentially walls of water, ahead of landfall which is why FEMA warns that Wednesday is the last feasible day to evacuate areas vulnerable to the storm.

Despite the potentially devastating hurricane being downgraded to category two on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, the governor of Georgia has joined his counterparts in Virginia and the Carolinas in declaring a state of emergency.

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A large rain cloud passes over a day before the arrival of hurricane Florence in Wilmington, N.C. on September 12, 2018.

'North Carolina, my message is clear: Disaster is at the doorstep, and it's coming in'.

Isaac Ginis, a hurricane expert at the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography, said that with rising temperatures, hurricanes are likely to become more intense, bring more rain and pose more risks to coastal areas from higher seas and bigger storm surges and waves.

Panovich: Right now it looks like landfall is going to occur sometime early Friday morning between, I would say, 4 a.m. and probably about 8 a.m., but it might actually never make it all the way in.

How much rain with North Carolina and SC receive?

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Michelle Stober loaded up valuables on Tuesday at her home on Wrightsville Beach to take back to her primary residence in Cary, North Carolina.

The pivot in the forecasted track of Florence led Georgia's governor to declare a state of emergency for all 159 counties, home to 10.5 million people.

Though Florence won't be making landfall until Friday, tropical-storm-force winds - 39 to 73 miles per hour (63 to 117 km/h) - will begin whipping through coastal regions as early as tomorrow, making it exceptionally unsafe to be outside, Graham said.

More than 1 million have been ordered to evacuate the coastlines of the Carolinas and Virginia.

By late last night, authorities in North Carolina reported almost 7,000 evacuees staying in 71 emergency shelters throughout the state. Trump also approved a federal emergency declaration for Virginia. Authorities in Chatham County, Georgia, which borders SC and includes the historic port city of Savannah, urged residents who feel unsafe "to evacuate as they see fit". All seven of North Carolina's ferry routes were shut down. He added later, "Most of the fatalities in these tropical systems is water".

Hurricane Florence approaches east United States , set to become ‘extremely dangerous’ storm
It is now 1,305 miles east of the Windward Islands, which are in the West Indies, and moving westward at 14 mph. Forecasters predicted it would become a risky Category 4 storm before a possible landfall Friday.

"It's going to be bad", said Woody White, a county commissioner. "But no matter how bad it's going to be, it will pass and our job will be to rebuild this community together, and that's what we're going to do".


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