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‘Extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Florence is now packing winds of 220 km/h

‘Extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Florence is now packing winds of 220 km/h

It will strike with torrential rains, powerful winds and potentially devastating flooding.

The Category 4 storm poses a risky threat to coastal regions of the Carolinas and Virgina, where it's expected to make landfall early Friday morning.

"[The problems were] not while the storm was there", he said.

Hurricane Harvey killed 68 people and caused catastrophic flooding in Houston, while Hurricane Irma caused 129 storm-related deaths in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.

U.S. President Donald Trump is expressing confidence the federal government is prepared for this week's onslaught of Hurricane Florence, which is predicted to be one of the most powerful storms in almost three decades to slam into the mid-Atlantic region.

Florence, it said, will bring "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall to portions of the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic".

Hurricane and storm watches were issued for the entire coast of North Carolina on Tuesday morning and for parts of the SC coast including Charleston, Myrtle Beach and Wilmington.

To speed up evacuations from coastal SC, officials reversed the flow of traffic on some highways so all major roads led away from shore.

"We have seen projections, most recently this evening, upwards of 20 inches (rain) in some areas with generally eight to 10 and 12 to 15 inches across over half the Commonwealth", said Jeff Stern, State Coordinator with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

The American Red Cross said more than 700 workers were headed to the region while shelters were set up to house those unable to flee. A hospital in Hampton, Virginia, was transferring patients to safer places.

Charleston International Airport in SC tweeted that it expects runways to close by midnight Wednesday as it monitors Hurricane Florence.

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President Donald Trump signed declarations of emergency Tuesday for the Carolinas and Virginia, a move that frees up federal money and resources.

"Any amounts of money, whatever it takes, we're going to do it", Trump told reporters at the White House as he met with top aides and federal disaster officials.

The Coast Guard started positioning rescue helicopters, equipment and people to best respond to the storm several days ago, and brought in some assistance from other parts of the country, service officials said.

A storm covering enormous area, to drench and lash more people.

But not everyone was in a hurry to leave.

Travelers are bracing for a rough ride as Hurricane Florence barrels toward the East Coast, with the storm expected to snarl roadways, air and rail travel as early as Thursday and disruptions forecast to persist through the weekend.

"We're as ready as anybody has ever been", the president added.

Residents boarded up their homes and stripped grocery stories bare of food, water and supplies. Some gas stations also ran low on fuel.

Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the East Coast of the United States. Generator maker Generac Holdings Inc rose 1 per cent and reached its highest price since April 2014.

"This storm is unlike any of the others we faced while there".