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Florence's uncertain track sows fear; 10 million in crosshairs

Florence's uncertain track sows fear; 10 million in crosshairs

"This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast", the National Weather Service in Wilmington, N.C., said, "and that's saying a lot given the impacts we've seen from hurricanes Diana, Hugo, Fran, Bonnie, Floyd, and Matthew".

Hurricane Florence's projected track shifted somewhat south and west on Wednesday, with National Hurricane Center forecasters predicting that it could throw Georgia into peril as the storm moves inland.

Early Wednesday afternoon in North Carolina, the storm was centered 700 kilometers (435 miles) off the coast, moving at 26 kph (16 mph) towards the USA coastline.

Eastern, Hurricane Florence was approximately 410 miles south of Bermuda and 975 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The state of North Carolina is preparing for a major storm.

"We will experience power outages, we will have infrastructure damaged, there will be homes damaged, and there will be debris on the roads", said Jeff Byard, an official from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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Global News is on the ground in the storm-impacted areas and will be providing updates in the live blog below.

Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington states have all already declared states of emergency ahead of the storm.

The hurricane is expected to weaken into a tropical depression as it continues westward into SC and Georgia.

North Carolina electric company Duke Energy Corp is expecting between 25 percent and 75 percent of its four million customers to lose power.

"The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety", Deal said. "Now it might be time for the exam", he said. Residents have been urged to be prepared. Parts of North Carolina could get 1m of rainfall. The researchers continuously track the hurricane as it makes landfall to collect data on the storm's speed, intensity and structure.

With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand. Most other beachgoers were long gone. "Also, a little creepy. There's no canned goods", Kristin Harrington said as she shopped at a Walmart in Wilmington. "If they're telling you to leave, you have to leave", Graham said.


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