As Carolina officials are warning residents: leave, now, or else you're on your own. This system, when it gets to the coast, is only going to be moving about three miles per hour.
People in North Carolina and SC have the daytime hours Thursday to complete their final preparations to ride out or escape the storm.
Up to 1.7 million people have been ordered to evacuate across South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Shelters in the city were filling and some people were being bused inland to Raleigh, even though some residents there were told they might have to evacuate because of flooding. When Hurricane Floyd made landfall near Cape Fear in 1999 as a Category 2 storm, bloated carcasses of hundreds of thousands of hogs, chickens and other drowned livestock bobbed in a nose-stinging soup of fecal matter, pesticides, fertilizer and gasoline so toxic that fish flopped helplessly to escape it.
More than 10 million people are in the crosshairs of Hurricane Florence as storm force winds move within hours of battering the USA east coast. Florence threatens that region with "catastrophic flooding".
Florence, now a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (209 km/h), was previously expected to travel north, up the North Carolina coast, after making landfall, according to the statement. As the storm moves inland, Georgia, Virginia, and Maryland will also be in peril. The town is less than 5 feet above sea level and officials worry that as many as 1,000 of the town's 6,300 residents are planning to stay. Describing the storm as a "no-kidding nightmare", Gerst said that he and USA astronaut Ricky Arnold captured the images with a special, super-wide-angle lens, as the storm made its way towards the east of the US. Forecasters say that the same type of storm surge expected earlier should still be expected.
Jeff Byard, of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said: "This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast". "Flooding is nearly guaranteed".
Panovich: The other interesting thing is in Charlotte our biggest impacts might be felt more Friday night into Saturday, and we will certainly see some wind on Friday but I think the rain may be kind of scattered about on Friday and the heavy stuff doesn't really move in until Saturday.
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"When that last ferry pulls out.it's unnerving to see it pull away and know, 'That's the last chance I have of getting off this island, '" she said Wednesday.
The forecast calls for as much as 40 inches (102 centimetres) of rain over seven days along the coast, with the deluge continuing even as the centre of the storm pushes its way over the Appalachian Mountains.
And it led to mixed signals from officials in SC, whose governor had canceled mandatory evacuation for several coastal counties.
Onboard the ISS, Gerst was able to capture some incredible images looking down in the storm's eye.
'Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you'.
Hurricane Helene and Tropical Storm Joyce are far out in the Atlantic and pose no immediate threat to land, forecasters said.
"For a meandering storm, the biggest concern - as we saw with Harvey - is the huge amount of rainfall", said Chris Landsea, chief of tropical analysis and forecast branch at the National Hurricane Center.