Hurricane Florence latest warning: ‘DISASTER IS AT THE DOORSTEP’ Evacuations continue

People drive over a drawbridge in Wrightsville Beach North Carolina as they evacuate the area on Tuesday in advance of Hurricane Florence

If the storm lingers for a few days, the sheer amount of rainfall could lead to catastrophic flooding.

Hurricane Florence is predicted to creep across the coast from North Carolina to SC after making landfall late Thursday or early Friday.

"Rail cars with vehicles destined for export from Charleston have been diverted to secure holding areas until the storm passes", BMW spokesman Kenn Sparks said. "This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast". State officials have said the inmates are safer in the prison than they would be in an evacuation. "I encourage Georgians to be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas".

Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a Category 2 storm, but it's still expected to be very risky due to its expansive wind field.

Forecasters said it's still too early to declare an all clear just yet.

Two other tropical storms - Isaac and Olivia - have also been in the vicinity this week, with the National Weather Service estimating that some 10.15 million people lived in areas under either hurricane or tropical storm warnings.

More than 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate the coastlines of the Carolinas and Virginia. "Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (815 km)".

Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a Category 2 storm but it is still considered an extremely risky and life-threatening storm.

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Sand bags surround homes on North Topsail Beach, N.C., September 12, 2018, as Hurricane Florence threatens the coast. The list of canceled football games included No. 13 Virginia Tech's home game against East Carolina, No. 14 West Virginia's trip to North Carolina State and No. 18 UCF's visit to North Carolina.

Reacting to the possibility of a more southerly track, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared an emergency but did not immediately order any evacuations.

Forecasters said early Thursday that the storm's outer rain bands are approaching the North Carolina coast.

The new trajectory means the storm will idle at sea for longer, creating even heavier and prolonged rains and storm surges for the Carolinas and possibly northern parts of Georgia.

The coastal surge from Florence could leave the eastern tip of North Carolina under more than 2.75 meters of water in spots, projections showed. The Navy, Air Force and Army were moving ships and aircraft out of harm's way.

Evacuating institutionalized people ahead of a storm is always a challenge, but failing to do so can prove deadly.

Florence's projected path includes half a dozen nuclear power plants, pits holding coal-ash and other industrial waste, and numerous hog farms that store manure in huge lagoons.

"The time to prepare is nearly over", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a morning news conference. So we could have two landfalls - one around Wilmington and then one near Myrtle Beach or even south of there.

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