‘Extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Florence is now packing winds of 220 km/h

Mandatory evacuations issued for Outer Banks ahead of Florence

South Carolina National Guard soldiers transfer bulk diesel fuel into fuel tanker trucks for distribution in advance of Hurricane Florence, in North Charleston, South Carolina, Sept. 10, 2018.

Hurricane warnings have been issued by the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) for portions of SC and North Carolina due to Hurricane Florence, according to the agency's 5 p.m. update on September 11. Sharp added that some areas could see flooding where he hasn't flooded before.

Trump, who has faced criticism for his administration's response to Hurricane Maria in 2017, which killed an estimated 3,000 people in the USA territory of Puerto Rico, knocked out power to all 3.4 million residents of the Caribbean island, with thousands still without power even six months after the storm hit, said the federal government was "totally prepared" for Florence. Sustained winds were 130 miles per hour (215 kph) Tuesday morning, but it remains a Category 4 storm and is expected to intensify to near Category 5 status as it slows over very warm coastal waters.

Watches in effect Tuesday forecast a storm surge of up to 12 feet at high tide from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout in North Carolina.

Florence's large size - tropical storm force winds extend 170 miles from the center in all directions - means its fury will arrive long before the center of the storm comes ashore, Graham said.

Forecasters are predicting that Florence will make landfall in the Carolinas late Thursday or early Friday as a Category 3 hurricane.

Dare County Emergency Management announced that a mandatory evacuation of Hatteras Island will begin for all residents and visitors beginning at noon Monday. Other counties are evacuating low lying and flood prone areas.

Mandatory evacuations are now in place for parts of the Carolinas and Virginia.

Coastal areas are likely to experience storm surges and the hurricane may dump heavy rains across the entire mid-Atlantic region, causing unsafe floods.

HOLDEN BEACH, N.C.: The powerful Hurricane Florence threatened to bring "days and days" of rain and potentially deadly flooding to the USA southeast coast, North Carolina's governor warned on Tuesday, as some 1 million people were ordered to evacuate their homes.

In the reprieve of the storm's eye, NOAA hurricane scientist Heather Holbach captured Atlantic blue skies above Florence's towering vertical walls from the hurricane hunter aircraft.

"All indications are that the storm will slow down and just crawl or meander over the inland sections and the coastal Piedmont", Weather Channel hurricane expert Bryan Norcross said.

"The latest NHC forecast track is very similar to the previous two advisory tracks", the NHC also stated in its discussion at 5 p.m.

McMaster and Cooper declared a state of emergency in their states, and Cooper had already activated 200 National Guard troops and asked President Donald Trump for a disaster declaration ahead of the storm so federal help can be made available as quickly as possible. So we always say way before it's even on the map to have some kind of kit and extra water and extra food, well advance of an event.

Officials warn there is a chance of "life-threatening inundation from rising water" over the next 48 hours as Florence heads for the US East Coast.

The National Weather Service advised people to put together a hurricane emergency kit that "will contain one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, a three-day supply of non-perishable food, a battery-powered or hand cranked radio, a flashlight, a first aid kit, moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation, and a charged backup battery for your cell phone".

Although it's hard to attribute any storm's intensification to one specific factor over another, a scientist explained some of the potential reasons to Fox News.

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