With maximum sustained winds of 220 km/h, Florence was due to grow even stronger before making landfall on Thursday, mostly likely in southeastern North Carolina near the SC border, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. The storm is expected to slow down and possibly stall near or over the coast on Friday.
Florence interrupted her stay on North Carolina's Outer Banks.
Maximum sustained winds are near 110 miles per hour (175 km/h) with higher gusts. "It is an extremely, dangerous, life-threatening, historic hurricane", said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.
Packing maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (209 kph), the storm was due to gain even greater strength before making landfall early on Thursday, bringing heavy rains with the potential to unleash widespread, severe flooding, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami. The storm has nothing to weaken it in it's path until it reaches landfall. The storm is anticipated to move near of over the central Lesser Antilles on Thursday and into the eastern Caribbean Sea late Thursday night at near hurricane strength. Main impacts with these storm are going to life-threatening storm surge, flooding, damaging hurricane-force winds, and risky rip currents along the East Coast.
Hurricane Florence will make its way westward, likely toward the Carolinas later this week while Hurricane Isaac moves westward toward the Caribbean.
Abbott also urged "all Texans" to take precautions for the storm.
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The president said if that person had high-level security clearance, "I don't want him in those meetings". Trump wasn't saying Friday whether he'd take the suggestion. "I would know.
The massive storm is threatening the East Coast of the U.S. with an expected landfall late Thursday.
Of the two other storms, which remain far from land, Isaac poses the most immediate risk.
A storm surge watch is in effect for. It took Matheson and her husband almost the whole day Monday to drive the 60 miles (100 kilometers) off the barrier island.
For many, the challenge could be finding a safe refuge: If Florence slows to a crawl just off the coast, it could carry torrential rains up into the Appalachian mountains, causing flash floods, mudslides and other risky weather across a wide area. The storm is expected to strengthen a bit, but turn to the north in the central Atlantic.
"You never know, there could be tree missiles coming from any direction", she said.
Two major category 5 hurricanes, Irma and Maria, ploughed through the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and the USA west coast during 2017's extremely active Atlantic storm season, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. "There is no way to be completely safe", but going inland might not be much safer.