Hurricane Florence storm track. The National Hurricane Center
- Hurricane Florence is predicted to make landfall somewhere in North Carolina, South Carolina, or the Mid-Atlantic states on Thursday evening or Friday morning.
- It could be the first Category 4 storm to hit North Carolina since Hurricane Hugo devastated the region in 1989.
- The slow-moving hurricane could also dump heavy rainfall inland, bringing a risk of flooding.
- South Carolina's governor ordered the state's entire coastline to evacuate by Tuesday afternoon. Evacuations now extend to about 1 million people in the state, according to a report.
A Category 4 hurricane with winds of up to 140 mph is set to bear down on the US's East Coast this week, bringing a risk of devastating floods.
Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall somewhere in North Carolina, South Carolina, or the Mid-Atlantic states on Thursday evening or Friday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center. The NHC predicts the hurricane will peak with wind speeds of 155 mph.
The hurricane could remain powerful as it moves inland, the NHC warned on Monday morning.
The hurricane could inundate low-lying islands off the coast of North Carolina, like the Outer Banks and other barrier islands, according to the NHC's "cone of probability" forecast. Heavy rain may extend as far inland as Charlotte, North Carolina's largest city, though the severity will depend on the storm's track, according to The Charlotte Observer.
Evacuations now extend to about 1 million people in South Carolina, after Gov. Henry McMaster ordered the state's entire 187-mile coastline to evacuate by Tuesday afternoon, The Post and Courier reported.
"Pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of South Carolina and is going to go way inshore," McMaster said in a press conference.
Evacuation orders are mounting
Some schools and most offices have been closed in Charleston, the largest city in South Carolina, in advance of the storm, according to The Post and Courier. Hilton Head, a well-known vacation destination, is also in the storm's most likely path.
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