Hurricane Florence: Henry McMaster Pulls The Trigger On Evacuations

Hurricane Florence: What you need to know to stay safe

Hurricane Florence: What you need to know to stay safe

And with little wind shear to pull the storm apart, Florence's hurricane wind field was expected to expand over the coming days, increasing its storm surge and inland wind threats.

Millions are being told to evacuate as the North and SC coasts prepares for the arrival of Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm that continues to strengthen into "an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday night".

The National Hurricane Center issued a Storm Surge Watch and Hurricane Watch for the Carolina coasts ahead of potentially life-threatening conditions, the NHC reports.

Cooper and his counterparts in neighboring SC and Virginia ordered about 1 million people to evacuate coastal homes, including along the Outer Banks barrier islands that protect North Carolina's shore.

Hyde County officials announced that all Ocracoke Island visitors have been ordered to evacuate starting noon on Monday.

Announcing his evacuation order, SC governor Henry McMaster said an estimated one million people would be fleeing the coast.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday urged people to make preparations and heed evacuation orders, warning that electrical service could be lost for several days, and days of heavy rain could lead to severe flooding in many areas.

As Paul Flaherty flew over Hurricane Florence, he didn't like what he was seeing.

Friday Cooper declared a State of Emergency. Tens of thousands of people are also expected to seek higher ground along coastal areas of North Carolina. Charles Mullen, 81, a longtime resident of Hatteras Island, North Carolina, said he had ridden out many storms and that most locals were planning to stay unless Florence took aim at Hatteras.

By Monday morning, the hurricane center classified Florence as a "major" hurricane, Category 3, meaning it was packing sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour. He said that the hurricane could only be captured on a super-wide lens, even from 400 kilometres up. In the six decades since then, many thousands of people have moved to the coast.

In Wilmington, Anita Harrell said she waited 90 minutes at a Home Depot on Tuesday to get plywood, intending to board up her home and business.

Maximum wind speeds were 140mph with hurricane-force winds extending up to 40 miles (65km) from the centre.

More than a million people in the southeast United States faced mandatory evacuation orders. Justin Kibbey also recalled the distinctness of the storm's eye.

Florence was about 575 miles south-southeast of Bermuda as of noon ET Monday, or about 1,230 miles from Cape Fear, North Carolina. A year ago, people would have laughed off such a forecast, but the European model was accurate in predicting 60 inches for Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area, so "you start to wonder what these models know that we don't", University of Miami hurricane expert Brian McNoldy said.

"This is a serious storm and it's going to effect the entire state", Northam told a news conference.

Hurricane Isaac is moving toward the Caribbean and could make landfall Thursday as a Category 1 hurricane.