Beach Town's Main Drag Empty Ahead of Hurricane Florence

Residents deal with flooding after Hurricane Joaquin in Charleston South Carolina

Residents deal with flooding after Hurricane Joaquin in Charleston South Carolina

The video was recently captured by scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) aboard a specialized four-engine aircraft.

Airlines have begun to cancel flights at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in advance of Hurricane Florence.

Some forecasters have predicted it could be the most powerful storm ever to hit the region.

This satellite image of Florence hurtling towards the east coast on Wednesday gives a sense of its massive scale.

Forecasters downgraded Florence, once a Category 4, to a unsafe Category 2 hurricane late Wednesday as the storm made its way toward the Carolinas, where some residents could see storm surges as high as 13 feet.

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as merely a Category 1 hurricane with winds less than 100 miles per hour (160 kph), but thats still enough to cause at least $1 billion in damage. The list of canceled football games included No. 13 Virginia Tech's home game against East Carolina, No. 14 West Virginia's trip to North Carolina State and No. 18 UCF's visit to North Carolina.

Parts of North Carolina are forecast to see maximum sustained winds of up to 110 miles per hour and receive as much as 40 inches of rain, which could lead to historic flooding, forecasters said.

"All interests from SC into the Mid-Atlantic region should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials", the Hurricane Center said. A further 10 million people are now under some form of storm watch.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, concerned the storm would bring its devastation south, issued an emergency declaration for all 159 counties in his state.

Utility officials have warned that widespread power outages are likely and that it could take weeks to restore electricity.

More than 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate the coastlines of the Carolinas and Virginia.

Another view from astronaut Alexander Gerst of the eye of Hurricane Florence, posted to Twitter on September 12, 2018. The commanding general says anyone remaining on base will have food, water and protection despite being in the projected path of the storm.

The first tropical storm-force winds of at least 63 kph were forecast to hit the coast on Thursday. The local adult-services department and the Area Agency on Aging has been in touch with each senior facilities as well, county public information officer Kathryn Murphy said, and has helped them decide whether and how to plan for the hurricane.

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