Hurricane Florence to make landfall as evacuations begin

Mandatory evacuations issued for Outer Banks ahead of Florence

The "major" hurricane was about 845 kilometres south-southeast of Bermuda on Monday and moving toward land at approximately 20 km/h, according to an advisory from the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence - with winds of up to 140 miles per hour - is expected to be "extremely dangerous" when it hits the East Coast early Friday.

The watch covers the area from Edisto Beach, South Carolina, north to the North Carolina-Virginia border, according to a statement issued Tuesday morning.

"They're going to pre-position us and get us in the area of where the storm is going to hit, and then they'll move us to wherever we're needed", he added.

Forecast models have said that several feet of heavy rain could cause flooding well inland from the coast.

A wind pattern that allows a storm to get strong and stay strong.

Hurricane Florence is expected to hit the region of the Carolinas and Virginia late Thursday or early Friday. Watches were in effect Tuesday for a storm surge that could reach up to 12 feet at high tide on a stretch from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout in North Carolina, forecasters said.

Hurricane Florence's size is "staggering", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warned.

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Far from this hurricane parade on the other side of the globe, Tropical Storm Olivia is flying solo east of Hawaii.

- Residents and visitors on South Carolina's coast are ordered to evacuate beginning at noon on Tuesday.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said during a press conference on Tuesday that his state "must be vigilant" in preparing for such an "unpredictable" storm.

Hurricane Florence appears ready to churn through the Carolinas, bringing along massive winds, rainfall and flooding. Its centre will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday and approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said.

In the reprieve of the storm's eye, NOAA hurricane scientist Heather Holbach captured Atlantic blue skies above Florence's towering vertical walls from the hurricane hunter aircraft.

"It's possible it could be even higher than that depending on how quickly the storm moves to the coast, but we're kind of expecting it to slow down as it moves to the coast and would probably cut down the storm surge", AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski says. "So this is, again, we are just hoping people take heed and do not underestimate this storm".

"If it decides to come here, we're gone", he said.

Although it's hard to attribute any storm's intensification to one specific factor over another, a scientist explained some of the potential reasons to Fox News.

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