Hurricane Florence map uses an unfortunate graphic to display devastation

Hurricane Florence map uses an unfortunate graphic to display devastation

A National Weather Service forecaster in Wilmington, North Carolina, said: 'This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast.

The National Hurricane Center's projected track had Florence hovering off the southern North Carolina coast starting Thursday night before finally blowing ashore.

More than 10 million people are in the crosshairs of Hurricane Florence as storm force winds move within hours of battering the USA east coast.

An estimated 10 million people live in areas expected to be placed under a hurricane or storm advisory, said Marc Chenard of the U.S. Weather Prediction Center.

"Took a two hour nap because we just weren't going to make it and we didn't want to come in here dragging", Jamieson said.

By contrast, North Carolina has said it is evacuating hundreds of prisoners from prisons and county jails before the storm, the Charlotte Observer reports.

Forecasts showed the storm lingering near the coast of the Carolinas, carrying days of heavy rains that could bring intense inland flooding from SC to Virginia.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, concerned the storm would bring its devastation south, issued an emergency declaration for all 159 counties in the state.

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More than 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate the coastlines of the Carolinas and Virginia.

Florence is forecast to dump up to three feet (almost a meter) of rain in some areas after it makes landfall in North and SC. Authorities in Chatham County, Georgia, which borders SC and includes the historic port city of Savannah, urged residents who feel unsafe "to evacuate as they see fit".

Hurricane Florence, growing in size despite its weakening winds, churned ever closer to the US East Coast on Wednesday as evacuations expanded south from the Carolinas into Georgia to counter the threat of deadly high seas and calamitous floods.

As of Tuesday, about 1.7 million people in North and SC and Virginia were under warnings to evacuate the coast, and hurricane watches and warnings extended across an area with about 5.4 million residents.

The storm is moving toward the northwest at 17 miles per hour (28 kph), the NHC said.

Seven-day rainfall totals are forecast to reach 10 to 20 inches over much of North Carolina and parts of SC, with as much as 30 inches in some places.

Jeff Byard, the associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said on Wednesday: "This is not going to be a glancing blow", as he warned of power outages, road closures, infrastructure damage and potential loss of life.

"It's been really nice", Nicole Roland said. "There's no canned goods", Kristin Harrington said as she shopped at a Walmart in Wilmington. "You feel like you should have already left".

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