Hurricane Florence pictures: First pictures as Florence approaches North Carolina

Sean Hannity Expects President Trump to Fire Mueller After Hurricane Florence

"Now it might be time for the exam", he said.

Utility officials have warned that widespread power outages are likely and that it could take weeks to restore electricity. GOES-East is one many satellites in orbit tracking the hurricane as it approaches the Carolinas. After Florence's rain starts to fall this week, he said, the rainfall could continue through Monday.

In the 11 p.m. ET advisory, Florence was 280 miles southeast of Wilmington, NC, packing maximum-sustained winds of 110 mph and moving to the northwest at 17 mph. Reacting to the possibility of a more southerly track, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared an emergency but did not immediately order any evacuations. Many vehicle dealerships on the coast were already closed Wednesday ahead of the storm. Visit our sister site Live Science for the latest Hurricane Florence forecast.

"These enormous waves are produced by being trapped along with very strong winds moving in the same direction [of] the storm's motion", the agency said.

As a result, Florence is no longer a major hurricane but still regarded as a large, risky and life-threatening storm to hammer the states of North Carolina and SC, as well as some other portions along the U.S. East Coast for days. In Myrtle Beach, S.C., and nearby areas, the surge could hit 6-9 feet.

And Florence will nearly surely depress auto production in SC, where Volvo already has closed a new factory near Charleston because it's in an area under mandatory evacuation orders, said spokesman Russell Datz.

Emergency preparations in SC now include more than 2,100 of the state's National Guard soldiers. On Tuesday (September 11), they published a map to their Facebook page showing the extent of the likely wind damage brought to the U.S. as Florence penetrates the Eastern seaboard. Tropical Storm Olivia made a double landfall in Hawaii Wednesday morning, first in west Maui then Lanai, KHNL reports.

CoreLogic estiimates that Florence could damage more than 750,000 homes and businesses along the East Coast, with potential reconstruction costs of $170 billion.

In Charleston, the city government said that after giving out 53,000 sandbags, "there is no longer any sand available at any city of Charleston location".

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It was estimated that Harvey dropped the equivalent of 19 to 21 trillion gallons of water in the greater Houston area, or, as The Washington Post reported a year ago, enough water to fill Utah's Great Salt Lake four times.

With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand.

"If Florence comes ashore during high tide, it could be similar to [Hurricane] Sandy and push more water inland", he said.

"It truly is really about the whole size of this storm", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said.

Satellite images show Florence has maintained a distinct eye and is well-organized.

"The magnitude of the storm is beyond what we have seen in years", said Howard Fowler, Duke Energy's incident commander. Little change in strength is expected before the center reaches the coast, with weakening expected after the center moves inland. It's not clear yet where the storm will park, but local forecasts have predicted some areas could receive 30-40 inches of rain depending on where the storm sits.

Once the rain hits the coast, it will accumulate very quickly, causing some flash flooding and eventually likely overwhelming streams and rivers in the areas that get the most. Its maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly to 110 miles per hour.

The shift in the projected track had areas that once thought they were out of range anxious. We only need to remember that tropical storm Irene was not a hurricane when it created tremendous damage to homes and covered bridges in Vermont in 2011.

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