States Prepare for ‘Storm of a Lifetime’ as Hurricane Florence Looms

'This is a big storm': Results could be catastrophic

A man runs past a mandatory evacuation sign before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, U.S., September 12, 2018.

Governor Roy Cooper urged residents to prepare now, calling the storm 'a monster, ' and warned that people should not count on being able to ride it out.

While one man concluded: 'We are about to get pounded, but since we have absolutely no control over it, all you can do is laugh, and pray for the best'. "This is a storm that is historic, maybe once in a lifetime".

While some in coastal North Carolina said they planned to stay put despite hurricane watches and warnings that include the homes of more than 5.4 million people on the East Coast, many weren't taking any chances.

The eastbound lanes of several major highways have been shut down to allow for a smooth flow of traffic inland. The area of tropical storm force winds generated by the storm was 300 miles wide as of Wednesday, according to a tweet from the National Hurricane Center.

Due to unusual steering patterns in the atmosphere, Florence may crawl southward down the Southeast coast, the opposite direction storms usually travel. The storm will bring dangerously high amounts of rain, forecasters say.

The flooding will depend whether Florence slows down and lingers over coastal areas as it moves inland, Salna says. "We are totally prepared", Trump said at the White House.

"This storm is going to be a direct hit". Governors of those states have already declared states of emergency, as have the governors of Virginia and Maryland.

Once the storm makes landfall, the threats are far from over. "If they're telling you to leave, you have to leave", Graham said.

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But his partner, Emily Whisler, said she will remain behind at the university where she is a resident in the psychiatry program. I believe in preparation, ' Wright said.

"This will be a storm that creates and causes massive damage to our country".

"I will enjoy the quiet", he said.

And it led to mixed signals from officials in SC, whose governor had canceled mandatory evacuation for several coastal counties.

Brunswick County also opened its own shelters at three high schools on Tuesday.

"This would be expected frankly for the safety of the workers", said North Carolina Pork Council chief executive Andy Curliss.

"The focus should be on the potential for torrential downpours that will lead to potentially life-threatening flooding", said meteorologist Scott Sharp. The Virginia National Guard is planning to initially bring up to 1,500 soldiers and airmen to offer help in the state's response operations.

Duke Energy has around 4 million customers in North and SC, and says it could take several weeks to restore the electricity.

With the change in the forecast, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal issued an emergency declaration for the entire state to ease regulations on trucks hauling gasoline and relief supplies, and asked people to pray for those in Florence's path.