Florence is expected to make landfall between Thursday and Friday.
"We are sparing no expense", Trump told reporters in the Oval Office after meeting with Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Administration officials.
Meteorology director Jeff Masters at the private Weather Underground says Florence will come "roaring up to the coast Thursday night and say 'I'm not sure I really want to do this, and I'll just take a tour of the coast and decide where I want to go inland'".
The National Hurricane Center said Tuesday night that its path had shifted to the south and Florence will likely make landfall in Wilmington, N.C. on Friday night before moving to SC. Just adding up the store bases in North and SC and Virginia is an oversimplification, he argues, while his research suggests that only low- to mid-single-digit percentages of most companies' stores will be affected.
In Virginia, 245,000 coastal residents were ordered to evacuate.
South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland have also declared states of emergency for the storm. "This will allow us to take care of our community and also be prepared should the need arise to assist others", Walker said.
National Hurricane Center now says tropical storm force winds "reasonable" for north Florida. In South Carolina and inland parts of North Carolina, 5 to 10 inches of rain could fall, with 20 inches possible in some areas. "Wherever you live in North Carolina, you need to get ready for this storm now and you need to evacuate if asked to".
President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.
"The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Florence", said Deal on the state government's website. Heavy rains were forecast to extend into the Appalachians, affecting parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. Everyone in the Carolinas should continue to finalize their preparations for the storm Wednesday.
More than 1 million people are under mandatory evacuations in the Carolinas and Virginia, and about 30 million across the Southeast will be affected if the forecast holds, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.
Residents on the Carolina coast are finding empty gas pumps and depleted store shelves as they flee a potentially devastating blow from Hurricane Florence.
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