Hurricane Florence Grows in Size but Winds Weaken, Conditions Still Life-Threatening

Time-lapse footage captured hurricane-hunting plane fly through Florence (VIDEO)

A massive hurricane is poised to make landfall this week and instead of the usual exodus of Floridians leaving the state for safety people from other states are making a beeline for here as they flee the storm.

Shortly after the news that the storm has changed course to affect Georgia after landfall, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to motivate citizens of the state to prepare for the unsafe weather.

Airlines canceled almost 1,000 flights and counting.

"For a meandering storm, the biggest concern - as we saw with Harvey - is the huge amount rainfall", said Chris Landsea, chief of tropical analysis and forecast branch at the National Hurricane Center.

Duke Energy, a power company in the Carolinas, estimated that one million to three million customers could lose electricity because of the storm and that it could take weeks to restore.

'The waves and the wind this storm may bring is nothing like you've ever seen.

"In 12 or 18 hours, they may be saying different things all over again", he said.

The SCDOT map shows congestion starting one mile north of the Georgia border and continuing to the Mile 34 marker in SC.

The Dominica government Wednesday hinted at the possibility of enacting legislation before year-end that would give authorities the right to compel the private sector to send home workers in the event of an approaching storm or other natural disasters.

Florence is now churning through the Atlantic, only a few hundred miles off the coast of Wilmington, N.C.

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Montgomery County Schools Closing at 11am Thursday.

As Florence closed in for the worst strike on the area in decades, President Donald Trump and state and local officials urged residents in the path of the storm to evacuate before it is too late.

Their entire neighborhood evacuated in Wilmington, North Carolina, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter's one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte. Unsure of what they might find when they return home, the couple went shopping for a recreational vehicle.

"I understand that there are essential services and those in the essential services will be at work ...but the rest of us in the public service are asked to stay home and to ensure that we can secure ourselves, secure our families and our properties".

"We stacked about three different layers, just kind of like to help with the windows, keep them safe, break up the wind channels so the building doesn't take a direct hit from 150 miles per hour winds", said Matthews Motors service manager Mark Yandell.

Forecasters anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast.

Florence, a Category 3 hurricane, was about 370 miles (595 km) east-southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour (185 km per hour), the Miami, Florida-based weather forecaster said.

The most recent predictions no longer have Florence traveling north, along the Atlantic coast.

"There's really not a lot of good news", NOAA flight director Paul Flaherty said on "Shepard Smith Reporting". "Also, a little creepy. You feel like you should have already left".

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