Lapse footage captured hurricane-hunting plane fly through Florence

ECU football team relocates to Orlando ahead of Florence

"It's a big one", he said.

Tropical storm conditions are expected for areas of the Carolinas on Thursday with hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or greater) projected for "late Thursday or Friday".

The News & Observer reports that the storm's path shifted early Wednesday and it is now bearing down on southern North Carolina and northern SC, where it could dump up to 40 inches of rain in places.

At the White House, President Donald Trump both touted the government's readiness and urged people to get out of the way of Florence. In contrast to the hurricane center's official projection, a highly regarded European model had the storm turning southward off the North Carolina coast and coming ashore near the Georgia-South Carolina line.

Florence, which is forecast to crawl up to the North Carolina coast later this week and turn slowly left, weakened Wednesday night as it continued toward the coastal Carolina areas, reported the National Hurricane Center.

"Someone's gonna get screwed on this", he said.

Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington states have all already declared states of emergency ahead of the storm.

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Faced with new forecasts that showed a more southerly threat, Georgia's governor joined his counterparts in Virginia and North and SC in declaring a state of emergency, and some residents who had thought they were safely out of range boarded up their homes.

Even miles away from the Atlantic, North Carolina residents in low-lying areas were boarding up and emptying stores.

Jeff Byard of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) invoked a former boxing champion to warn residents that Florence would bring "a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast".

Hurricane Florence could dump more rain on the state than Hugo because it's expected to stop over SC for several days, and could move across the SC coastline.

The eastbound lanes of several major highways have been shut to allow traffic to flow inland, but the exodus was slow along roads jammed with outward-bound vehicles.

"All my staff are gone", Thompson said. "You can't stop Mother Nature".

"I've been through hurricanes before but never with kids", she said.

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