USA southeast braces for 'days and days' of floods from Florence

Mandatory evacuations issued for Outer Banks ahead of Florence

The storm threatened to hit coastal North and SC with 130 mile per hour (210 kph) winds and massive waves when it makes landfall on Friday, and its rains will take a heavy toll for miles inland, the National Hurricane Center in Miami warned.

The powerful storm is expected to make landfall in the Carolinas late Thursday, and almost 1.5 million people are under mandatory evacuation orders in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

In anticipation of the storm, governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland have declared states of emergency.

Hurricane Florence - the most powerful storm to threaten the Carolinas in almost three decades - is expected to strengthen, say forecasters. According to the US National Hurricane Center, Florence is expected to strengthen further as it is ready to move over the southwestern Atlantic between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Additionally, Hurricane Florence is expected to slow as it approaches the coast, producing significant rainfall, leading to flooding north and south of its track.

The NHC warned that hurricane force winds may extend 65 kilometers from the center and tropical-storm-force winds may reach 240 kilometers outward.

NASA also released an intriguing infrared look from its Aqua satellite on Tuesday, showing Hurricane Florence likely going through a process called "eyewall replacement".

Other impacts, like potential rain, depend upon what Florence does after it makes landfall, the meteorologist said. That would make it the most destructive storm in US history in terms of financial losses for homeowners and businesses. High winds will bring down trees and power lines, so residents are urged to be prepared to go without electricity for several days.

"Storm surge" refers to the dome of water which hurricanes sweep up and over the coastlines they impact.

The current upper air pattern indicates Florence will probably move west into NY and Pennsylvania as it weakens.

"Isaac is anticipated to move near or over the central Lesser Antilles on Thursday, move into the eastern Caribbean Sea Thursday night, and move into the central Caribbean Sea by the weekend", NHC officials said in an advisory issued today at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT). Upon immediate landfall, the threats are you standard hurricane threats - storm surge, strong winds, tornadoes.

"All parts of the state could be affected by the storm", Cooper, a Democrat, said at a news conference Monday morning, warning that power outages could last for "a while".

Hurricane Florence remained a fierce Category 4 hurricane Tuesday morning after doubling in size a day earlier as it churned toward the Carolina coast. By sunset Thursday and through most of Friday, our area will see the worst of the conditions, he said.

Similar evacuations are happening all the way up to Virginia, where the governor has ordered a mandatory evacuation for residents of some low-lying coastal areas.