President Trump approves emergency declaration for Virginia ahead of Florence

NASA shows Hurricane Florence over the Atlantic Ocean seen from the International Space Station, in space on Sept. 10 2018

With Hurricane Florence approaching the Carolinas, the West Virginia-NC State, East Carolina-Virginia Tech and UCF-North Carolina games scheduled for Saturday have been canceled, it was announced Tuesday.

Motorists streamed inland on highways converted to one-way evacuation routes Tuesday as about 1.7 million people in three states were warned to get out of the way of Hurricane Florence, a hair-raising storm taking dead aim at the Carolinas with 140 miles per hour (225 kph) winds and potentially ruinous rains.

Businesses and homes in the storm's path were boarded up and thousands of people had moved to emergency shelters, officials said, urging anyone who remained near the coast to flee.

Florence is expected to hit the Carolinas and Virginia late Thursday or early Friday, prompting evacuation orders for more than a million people.

- Tornadoes are possible as the storm meanders near or over the Carolinas.

Florence catapulted from a Category 2 to a Category 4 hurricane over the span of several hours.

He says the peanut crop could use some rain after a very dry August, but certainly doesn't need the amount of moisture Florence is expected to deliver.

The U.S. Coast Guard closed ports in Wilmington and Morehead City, North Carolina and Hampton Roads, Virginia to inbound vessels greater than 500 tons and was requiring vessels of that size to leave if they did not have permission to be in the ports. Its hurricane-force winds extend up to 60 miles from the storm's center.

Meteorologist Jon Cash tells CBN News that wherever Florence comes ashore, that area will likely be devastated, facing destructive winds and days of torrential rain. Although North Carolina is still expected to see the worst of the storm, a more southern track would mean that states further north - like Virginia - could be spared of some nasty weather.

"We face three critical threats from Florence: ocean surge along our coast, strong winds, and inland flooding from heavy rain", Governor Cooper said. Damaging effects from the storm are expected to be felt far inland, particularly as it's projected to stall once it crosses the coastline.

How Hurricane Florence could affect New England
She said her house, built in 2009 in Buxton, North Carolina, is on a ridge and built to withstand a hurricane. If you are in these areas, or have ties there, take the warning and evacuation orders seriously.

At this height of the Atlantic hurricane season, Florence was being trailed on east-to-west paths by two other storms, Hurricane Helene and Tropical Storm Isaac, but neither packs the deadly punch of Florence. Combined with high tides, the storm surge could swell as high as 12 feet.

If the hurricane makes landfall, this so-called brick wall will likely play the villain again; the brick wall is expected to weaken, meaning it won't help steer Florence out to sea.

'We have guard members preparing throughout the state, ready to meet the requests from our partnered agencies and emergency managers, ' said Army Maj. Gen.

Governors in SC and Virginia have also issued mandatory evacuation orders ahead of the storm.

Sailors cast off mooring lines to the Command hospital ship USNS Comfort as the ship evacuates Naval Station Norfolk in preparation for Hurricane Florence in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S., September 11, 2018. Seven-day rainfall totals are forecast to reach 500 millimetres over much of North Carolina and Virginia, and even 760 mm in some places.

Even the hurricane's intensity can affect the direction it takes, as "the atmosphere has different winds at different heights, so the winds at the upper levels may be different than they are at the lower levels", Bell said.

"The governor said that North Carolina is the bull's eye of this hurricane", Larry Wooten, president of the North Carolina Farm Bureau, said in an interview.

Smithfield Foods Inc [SFII.UL] said it would shut down the world's largest hog-slaughtering facility in Tar Heel, North Carolina, on Thursday and Friday due to the hurricane.

That doesn't quite measure up to the 25 trillion gallons Harvey dropped on Texas and Louisiana previous year. He said electric power could be out for weeks.

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