Hurricane Florence is no Hugo. It looks worse

Savage, soaking Hurricane Florence nears Carolina coast

Latest forecasts Wednesday afternoon showed Florence stalling once it comes ashore near the North Carolina-South Carolina border, possibly drifting southwest and setting parts of the Carolinas up for potentially devastating flooding.

Hurricane Florence is blasting toward the Carolinas, carrying sustained winds of up to 130 miles per hour and the threat of "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall", the National Hurricane Center says.

Fierce winds and massive waves are expected to lash the coasts of North and SC and Virginia even before Florence makes landfall by early Friday, bringing a storm surge as much as 13 feet (4 meters), the National Hurricane Center in Miami warned.

To ease the heavy traffic leaving the coast, SC reversed freeways lanes to allow traffic to flow away from the coming storm. The governors of North Carolina and Virginia have announced mandatory evacuations of hundreds of thousands more in their states.

Parts the eastern seaboard of the United States will be deluged with 40 inches of rain and suffer a "Mike Tyson punch" from Hurricane Florence, emergency planners warned today.

"It is an extremely, dangerous, life-threatening, historic hurricane", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said.

Another resident staying put despite evacuation orders to over 1 million people throughout the Carolinas and Virginia is Jon Wright, a retired firefighter.

Forecasters have adjusted Hurricane Florence's projected path, saying that after it makes landfall, it is likely to take a more southerly route than expected.

Flash flooding possible in Austin area Saturday night and Sunday
We have avoided significant rainfall for most of the area so far this month but that changes quickly starting this evening. In addition to widespread heavier rainfall locally, excessive rain to our north has resulted in higher river levels.

Hurricane-force winds will reach the Carolina coasts late Thursday or early Friday.

A satellite image shows Hurricane Florence looming in the Atlantic Ocean as the sun rises over the U.S. Florence is expected to bring tropical storm conditions to North Carolina and SC on Thursday and hurricane conditions on Friday.

It's a different story in North Carolina.

Jonathan Serrie reports on hurricane preparations from Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. "It's going to happen".

"We're just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time", David Garrigus said.

Officials in New Hanover County, which includes Wilmington, have stockpiled enough food and water for 60,000 people for four days, along with more than 28,000 tarps.

WCNC-TV meteorologist Brad Panovich told WFAE Morning Edition host Marshall Terry that the shift of Florence means more rain for the Charlotte area. A year ago, people would have laughed off such a forecast, but the European model was accurate in predicting 60 inches for Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area, so "you start to wonder what these models know that we don't", University of Miami hurricane expert Brian McNoldy said. "But no matter how bad it's going to be, it will pass and our job will be to rebuild this community together, and that's what we're going to do". Even scarier: It could get more intense as it gets closer to the Carolinas. "People are taking down awnings and U-Haul trucks have come in and take the entire contents of stores".

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