The hurricane's immensity is why some 10 million people across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are under storm watches and warnings, with meteorologists projecting Florence could become the most powerful storm to hit this part of the United States in at least 25 years.
But the hurricane's sheer size meant it could batter the U.S. East Coast with hurricane-force winds for almost a full day, according to weather forecasters. The National Hurricane Center is calling for 20 to 30 inches (50 to 75 centimeters) of rain in North Carolina, with spots up to 40 inches (100 centimeters).
"This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast", the National Weather Service in Wilmington, North Carolina, wrote on September 11.
"We are. coordinating closely with state and local officials to help ensure the safety of our employees and our property prior to the storm's landfall", CSX spokesman Christopher Smith said. Its new path indicates that after arriving in the area near Wilmington, North Carolina, the storm will dip to the south before resuming a western course, the FWS explained in the statement.
So far, it's estimate more than 1.7 million Americans have heeded the warnings about Hurricane Florence.
"This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast", said Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland have declared states of emergency.
Image SC National Guard
As of 11 p.m. EDT Wednesday, the storm was centered 260 miles (455 kilometers) east southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving northwest at 17 mph (28 kph).
Millions of people were expected to lose power from the storm and restoration could take weeks.
Forecasters expected some strengthening today, as Florence marches west-north-west at around 13kmh.
In addition to tens of thousands of homes and businesses, five military bases and half a dozen nuclear power plants are also in the path of the storm.
As the trough moves east, it will disrupt the winds that steer the hurricane, Stewart said.
"I've been through hurricanes before but never with kids", she said.
With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand.
Interestingly, the Atlantic Ocean housed three hurricanes at the same time, that before Tropical Storm Isaac being downgraded from its former hurricane status.
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