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Hurricane Florence tracker: 'STORM OF A LIFETIME' to batter North Carolina

Hurricane Florence tracker: 'STORM OF A LIFETIME' to batter North Carolina

"Do you want to get hit with a train or do you want to get hit with a cement truck?" said Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

More than one million citizens from the Carolinas and Virginia were now under mandatory evacuations he said."We can not stress the importance to our citizens that are in evacuations to heed the local and state warnings", he said, adding, "Hurricane Florence is the strongest storm to target the Carolinas and this part of our country in decades".

Once the storm hits land, its powerful 130-mile per hour winds are projected to lessen to still potent 50-mph winds over the next day. It was a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm but was expected to keep drawing energy from the warm water and intensify to near Category 5, which means winds of 157 miles per hour (253 kph) or higher.

"Officials said Hurricane Florence has the potential to cause "massive damage" to parts of the southeastern and mid-Atlantic United States".

"To the incredible citizens of North Carolina, South Carolina and the entire East Coast - the storm looks very bad!"

A fleet of federal hurricane hunting craft - including planes and personnel from NASA, the Air Force, and NOAA - take flights directly through hurricanes to give storm forecasters an improved idea of what's churning inside the storm, and what might happen next.

"It's been really nice", Nicole Roland said.

Specifically, hurricane hunting planes like the P-3 release small cardboard tubes holding environmental sensors, called dropsondes, which then parachute through the violent storms, and send data back to the aircraft.

More news: Evacuations in United States ahead of Hurricane Florence

"We've had our lessons. Many more are being urged to evacuate at-risk areas voluntarily". "Now it might be time for the exam", he said. The four named storms in the Atlantic come as one in the Pacific is hitting Hawaii. Unsure of what they might find when they return home, the couple went shopping for a recreational vehicle.

There is quite of bit of certainty in the tracking forecast, replied Brock when asked by the president whether Florence could veer off course away from coastal areas. "Everyone was sold out", she said.

Mayor Joe Benson said the storm will batter the oceanside town through two high tide periods. Most other beachgoers were long done.

"We're just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time", David Garrigus said.

Hurricane watches, plus storm surge warnings and watches, are also in place for the following areas which you can see here.

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.

"Everyone who is staying here is either a real old-timer, someone who doesn't know where would be better, or someone involved in emergency operations one way or another", said Fox. "Also, a little creepy".