Millions of Americans throughout North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia bracing for the impact of hurricane Florence, a category 4 storm that’s expected to be the strongest storm to hit the area in 60 years.
Meteorologists said the monster storm, could lead to mudslides from the massive amounts of rainfall, flash flooding and strong winds it’s expected to bring.
Weather experts estimate Florence will make landfall by Thursday night, ahead of an anticipated landfall on Friday.
Officials are pleading with residents to heed evacuation warnings before it’s too late.
“This is a major storm that’s going to hit our coast, it’s going to stay on our coast, it’s going to dump amounts of water that the area, some of these areas have not seen in a long, long time. so whether you think you’re in a safe building — if it’s not a FEMA-certified hurricane shelter, I would encourage you to evacuate,” said Jeff Byard.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Florence’s center had maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour, and was about 845 miles southeast of Cape Fear in North Carolina.
It also brings life-threatening surges – up to 12 feet along the coasts and generally up to 30 inches of rain through early next week.
President Trump signed declarations of emergency for both North Carolina and South Carolina, freeing up federal money and resources for storm response.