Dont play games with it: Florence takes aim at Carolinas

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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.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP warns crime, immigration will spike if Dems win Former NSA chief breaks with other ex-intel officials over Brennan letter Puerto Rico governor issues scathing statement after Trump touts response to hurricane MORE has already declared a state of emergency for South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. "We want to be able to protect our investments, our homes".

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.

Whittington is aware of a potentially 13-foot storm surge that's predicted to hit Carolina Beach before, during and after Florence makes landfall, battering and inundating low-lying homes with water.

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"Protection of life is the absolute highest priority", he added. This storm is a slow-moving mammoth and will linger for days on the coast, heavily affecting not only North and SC but also Georgia and parts of Virginia before moving further inland, causing devastation to entire states throughout the weekend. Water kills more people in hurricanes than wind, and he said it will still be an extremely unsafe storm for rain and storm surge.

On Wednesday morning, the storm was about 550 miles from the Carolina coast and remains a Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds.

"If you are under an evacuation order and you haven't left, the time to leave is now". Similar declarations were made earlier in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

The eastbound lanes of several major highways have been shut to allow traffic to flow inland, but the exodus was slow along roads jammed with outward-bound vehicles.

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"All my staff are gone", Thompson said.

"What can you do?" she asked.

"Everything is packed", Espinoza said. "If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have minded staying here".

If these projections hold, University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy says "it's exceptionally bad news, as it smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

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Their entire neighborhood evacuated in Wilmington, North Carolina, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter's one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte. Coastal evacuations were in effect for Virginia and North Carolina as well. He cited forecasts showing Florence was likely to stall over North Carolina, "bringing days and days of rain".