The hurricane is set to inundate low-lying islands off the coast of North Carolina, like the Outer Banks and other barrier islands, according to the NHC's "cone of probability" forecast. Other counties are evacuating low lying and flood prone areas.
The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority has ordered additional supplies of gasoline to fuel airport fleet vehicles, spokesman Andrew Sawyer said by phone.
For many people, the challenge could be finding a safe refuge: If Florence slows to a crawl, it could bring torrential rains all the way into the Appalachian mountains and as far away as West Virginia, causing flash floods, mudslides and other unsafe conditions in places that have already experienced lots of rain recently. "We just don't know what's going to happen, and we have no control over that".
"We are not going to gamble with the lives of the people", McMaster, a Republican, said. "But, also, to be sure that our people are out of harm's way and that we've exercised all the logistical implications".
There was little change in Florence's track during the 11 a.m. forecast from the National Hurricane Center.
"It's important to get the notion across to the team that they can't worry or assume anything", Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said. And one life is not worth an economic advantage somewhere else.
"I grew up in Newton, North Carolina".
"The more accurate and up to date data we can provide, the better those predictions will be", Underwood says on Twitter. Evacuation orders have also been issued. "If you are given an evacuation order, please comply immediately before roads get clogged and chaos commences".
This story will be updated as more information is available regarding the reopening of schools. US President Donald Trump signed declarations of emergency for both North Carolina and SC, freeing up federal money and resources for storm response.
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On Monday, McMaster ordered residents of eight coastal counties to evacuate. Officials in SC prepared to reverse lanes on major roadways to speed the evacuation of the coast. Officials in SC reversed the flow of traffic on some highways so that all major roads led away from the sea to speed evacuations.
Florence's top wind speeds were still hovering at about 130 miles per hour on Tuesday, making Florence a Category 4 hurricane.
Jeffrey Byard, FEMA's associate administrator for response and recovery, stressed during a news conference Tuesday that citizens living on the coast in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia should take action to heed local and state warnings.
Forecasters have warned the the hurricane could be "life threatening" by the time it strikes.
While Florence could punch the Carolinas harder than any hurricane since 1954, New England isn't expected to see much of an impact from the storm.
Duke Energy spokesman Ryan Mosier said operators would begin shutting down nuclear plants at least two hours before hurricane-force winds arrive. It's expected to make landfall Thursday into Friday.
"This is a very risky storm". It's possible it could become a Category 5 storm. "People need to be careful. Better to be safe than sorry", saying people all across the state need to be on alert.
Evacuation shelter locations for those evacuating from the state's northern and central coastal counties will be available on scemd.org and in the SC Emergency Manager mobile app as soon as they are opened.