'Monster' Hurricane Florence to pummel U.S. Southeast for days

NASA via Getty Images

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.

A hurricane warning - meaning hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours - is in effect for a long stretch of the coast, from the Santee River in SC to Duck, N.C., which is part of the Outer Banks.

When the National Hurricane Updates shared a map of the category four hurricane, dubbed "the storm of a lifetime", on Facebook, people were quick to compare the pink round-headed shape displaying the devastation to something a lot less serious.

"The first thing is to protect your life", he said Tuesday morning.

About 1.7 million people across the three states affected - North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia - have been told to leave their homes ahead of the storm's arrival. He also declared a state of emergency in Virginia.

This storm is nearly bigger than North Carolina and Virginia put together so we will still feel the impacts.

AccuWeather Vice President of Forecasting and Graphics Operations Marshall Moss said: "A storm with the track of Florence is unprecedented".

Between 1 millions and 3 million people will likely lose power when Hurricane Florence makes landfall later this week, according to a Wednesday report from Duke Energy.

"We have to be careful we're not asking them to come back to Beaufort County through a storm", he said.

North Carolina has waived transportation rules to help farmers move crops and livestock ahead of the most severe storm to threaten the USA mainland this year. A Category 5 storm has 157 miles per hour winds.

The latest forecast path (as of 5 a.m.) shifts Florence's track to the west. Florence will likely stay a major hurricane until late Friday night, when the hurricane is predicted to weaken to Category 2 upon landfall.

Satellite images show the storm has maintained a distinct eye and is well organized.

"Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you".

Hurricane Florence replaced its eyewall.

People drive over a drawbridge in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., as they evacuate the area in advance of Hurricane Florence, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018.

"I'm scared we'll get 30 inches or more of rain", said Carol Trojniar, 69, a longtime Wilmington resident and retired real estate agent who has never experienced a Category 4 hurricane.

The US east coast is bracing for more than 40 inches of rain as Hurricane Florence barrels nearer to land.

The timing of the storm has also changed as forecasters warned that Florence could hesitate just offshore for days - punishing a longer stretch of coastline harder than previously feared - before pushing inland over the weekend.