White House Buckles in For Hurricane Florence

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.

Dave Clark, senior vice president of operations for the Seattle-based tech giant, tweeted Wednesday about how Amazon teams are already "forward deploying" relief supplies to fulfillment centers closer to what is expected to be the point of impact in the region. Rather than pushing up toward western Virginia, the storm's center is now predicted to move across the middle of SC.

Residents are running out of time to evacuate before Hurricane Florence roars in to North and SC bringing potentially deadly flooding, officials warn.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km).

As it nears the coast, the storm's forward motion will slow to a crawl, but the winds and rain will continue full-strength. "We've just never seen anything like this".

This storm is nearly bigger than North Carolina and Virginia put together so we will still feel the impacts.

Most of the deaths from hurricanes in recent years have come from people who stay put and get caught in the ensuing floods, retired Coast Guard Capt. Thomas Lennon tells TIME.

Forecasts showed the storm lingering near the coast of the Carolinas, carrying days of heavy rains that could bring intense inland flooding from SC to Virginia.

The NHC said: "The centre of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas today, and approach the coast of North Carolina or SC in the hurricane warning area on Thursday and Friday".

Aside from that mammoth coastal flooding, Florence will likely inundate cities far inland as well.

The hurricane could inundate low-lying islands off the coast of North Carolina, like the Outer Banks and other barrier islands, according to the NHC.

Inmates at MacDougall did not evacuate during Hurricane Hugo, a Category 4 storm, and the prison "didn't have any structural damages", Lee said.

Forecasters said parts of North Carolina could get 20in of rain, if not more, with as much as 10in elsewhere in the state and in Virginia, parts of Maryland and Washington DC.

"Its been really nice", Nicole Roland said.

More than 1.5 million people have been ordered to evacuate coastal areas ahead of the storm because of both destructive winds and a storm surge that could place normally dry land under at least 10 feet of water. All of those, however, made landfall south of where Florence is predicted to hit, and Florence's wind speeds are predicted to be higher than those four storms.

  • Essie Rivera