US East Coast braces for 'direct hit' from Hurricane Florence

US East Coast braces for 'direct hit' from Hurricane Florence

The National Hurricane Center says storm surge from Hurricane Florence could be up to 13 feet in some areas of North Carolina.

"With this storm, what's unique is it's forecast to stall. dropping copious amounts of rainfall across the Carolinas and into Virginia", Long said.

Tropical Storm watch: North of the North Carolina/Virginia border to Cape Charles Light, Virginia and Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

During the next day or so, and Florence is expected to be an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday night. In South Carolina today, about 750 National Guard members were expected on duty.

Hurricane Isaac is holding steady in strength over the Atlantic.

"All interests from SC into the Mid-Atlantic region should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials", the Hurricane Center said.

The Miami-based center said in its 5 a.m. advisory that Florence was about 625 miles southeast of Bermuda, moving west northwest at 9 mph.

"We do not want to risk one SC life in this hurricane", Governor Henry McMaster said at a news conference.

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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. It's big and it's vicious.

"The largest threat to life from hurricanes is not the high winds, flooding is the deadliest result of these storms".

One woman told MSNBC she would be staying at home in Wilmington, NC with her two children despite the storm.

Historic and potentially catastrophic flooding is possible along with life-threating storm surges of up to 12 feet are possible along the coasts.

A hurricane warning - meaning hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours - is in effect for a long stretch of the coast, from the Santee River in SC to Duck, N.C., which is part of the Outer Banks. The federal government was "absolutely, totally prepared" for Florence, the president said, according to a live stream of his press conference at the White House.

Deal cited the storm's "forecasted southward track" in a statement declaring a state of emergency.

"Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency".

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