Florence forecast to stall over Carolinas as stationary front blocks movement

Mandatory evacuations issued for Outer Banks ahead of Florence

"The water could overtake some of these barrier islands and keep on going. With time, the wind pushes the water into every nook and cranny you can think of", Graham said.

The NHC warned they're likely to cause "life-threatening surf and rip current conditions".

State of Emergency has been declared by North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

"This is one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast in many years", President Donald Trump warned on Twitter.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released a "mesmerising loop" showing Hurricane Florence from space.

Coastal Carolina's home Sun Belt game against Campbell, scheduled for Saturday in Conway, S.C., near Myrtle Beach, has been moved to Wednesday at Campbell in Buies Creek, N.C., more than 100 miles from the Atlantic coast.

Hurricane Florence is now a massive Category 4 hurricane. Hazel is the only Category 4 storm to ever hit North Carolina, when it devastated the southern coast in 1954 with an 18-foot storm surge.

Duke staffers will be monitoring the sites and plan to inspect them after the storm moves out.

The storm surges could be as high as 13 feet (4m) and Florence could dump 15 to 25 inches (38 to 64cm) of rain in some spots, forecasters said.




Florence strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane on Monday. This rainfall may produce life-threatening flash flooding. High winds will bring down trees and power lines, so residents are urged to be prepared to go without electricity for several days.

Florence's projected path includes half a dozen nuclear power plants, pits holding coal ash and other industrial waste, and numerous hog farms that store animal waste in massive open-air lagoons.

While developments over the last 24 hours suggest historic rainfall is possible, meteorologists say there are two keys to that scenario playing out: predicted ridging over the Midwest near or after Florence's landfall, which would promote stalling of the system.

Preparations for Florence are intensifying up and down the densely populated coast.

South Carolina Walker Townsend, at right, from the Isle of Palms, S.C., fills a sand bag while Dalton Trout, in center, holds the bag at the Isle of Palms municipal lot where the city was giving away free sand in preparation for Hurricane Florence at the Isle of Palms S.C., September 10, 2018. Hurricane Isaac was expected to lose strength as it reaches the Caribbean, and Helene, much farther out to sea, may veer northward into the open ocean as the 2018 hurricane season reaches its peak.

Flight tracking site FlightAware.com had seen few storm-related cancellations as of Tuesday, according to spokeswoman Sara Orsi.

In the Pacific, Hurricane Olivia triggered warnings for multiple Hawaiian islands.

Carriers including Southwest, JetBlue, Spirit, American and Delta said passengers can switch flights to and from affected regions without penalty from September 13 through September 16. Evacuation orders have also been issued.

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