Parts of Virginia, North Carolina, and SC have issued mandatory evacuation orders, and governors of all three states as well as Maryland have declared states of emergency in the run-up to Florence making landfall.
The center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Wednesday night, and approach the coast of North Carolina or SC in the hurricane warning area on Thursday and Friday, NHC said.
Faced with new forecasts that showed a more southerly threat, Georgia's governor joined his counterparts in Virginia and North and SC in declaring a state of emergency, and some residents who had thought they were safely out of range boarded up their homes.
We are in the Cape Fear region in North Carolina, where residents have been rushing to escape inland.
Although the storm has been designated Category 3 rather than 4, emergency services were warning it could hit the coast with the force of a "Mike Tyson punch." While we will see some impacts from the system, they are likely to be when the storm has reached tropical depression status and winds are weaker.
"I've been through hurricanes before but never with kids", she said.
Duke Energy, the nation's No. 2 power company, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.
Governor Deal said yesterday: "The state is mobilising all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Florence".
Many coastal towns have already instituted mandatory evacuation orders. Residents of Beaufort, Colleton and Jasper counties were told they would not need to evacuate with residents on the rest of the coast.
"We're just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time", David Garrigus said.
First responders around the country are making their way to Wrightsville Beach.
"Someone's gonna get screwed on this", he said. The researchers continuously track the hurricane as it makes landfall to collect data on the storm's speed, intensity and structure.
With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand. Most other beachgoers were long gone.
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