One million flee as Hurricane Florence bears down on US - Ireland

You can follow the hurricane using the FOX8 Hurricane Tracker

The National Hurricane Center said the storm was expected to become a "major hurricane" by Tuesday as it passes between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday.

At 2300 EDT (0300 GMT), the NHC said Florence had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 km), and was slowly drifting westward over SC.

Florence is forecast to move slowly over the Carolinas after making landfall Thursday night or Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

A woman walks her bike across a street near a boarded up bar a day before the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Wilmington.

Florence's intensity has diminished since it roared ashore along the USA mid-Atlantic coast on Friday as a hurricane. Apparently, the hurricane is just a few hundred miles away from the North Carolina's coastline.

Life-threatening storm surges of up to 13 feet were also forecast in some areas along with the possibility of tornadoes in North Carolina.

He said: We are ready but this is going to be one of the biggest ones to ever hit our country.

The Met Office issued two "yellow" alerts on Friday as the storm began creeping towards south-western corners of the United Kingdom and the tip of Ireland.

"Strength, track, and forward speed of Florence will be the major players in determining the scope and amount of rainfall and correspondingly the severity of inland flooding", according to AccuWeather forecaster Dan Kottlowski on September 12.

Losing Speed, Tropical Storm Florence Will Continue Slowly Through The Carolinas
United States media later said a man in Lenoir County died after heavy winds knocked him down as he tried to check on his dogs. In general, south eastern sections of North Carolina like Wilmington and Fayetteville are at risk of flooding.

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"This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch", said a spokesperson from the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

Utility officials have warned that widespread power outages are likely and that it could take weeks to restore electricity.

Early Thursday Florence was about 235 miles (378 kilometers) east southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina and about 280 miles (450 kilometers) east southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Forecasters expected some strengthening today, as Florence marches west-north-west at around 13kmh. "I encourage Georgians to be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas".

In Fayetteville, a North Carolina city of about 210,000 people about 90 miles inland, authorities told thousands of residents near the Cape Fear River and Little River to get out of their homes by Sunday afternoon because of the flood risk.

The governor of neighbouring North Carolina ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination, and parts of coastal Dare County, while a state of emergency was declared in Virginia.

"We hope to have something left when we get home", she said.

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. Hurricane Helene and Subtropical Storm Joyce were off in the Atlantic, posing no threat.

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