Beach communities in North and SC emptied out on Wednesday as Hurricane Florence threatened to unleash pounding surf and potentially deadly flooding as the most powerful storm to make a direct hit on the southeastern states in decades.
The latest projections of Florence, now a Category 4 storm, show it shifting south putting Georgia in its possible path.
Masters said there's a tug-of-war between two clear skies high pressure systems - one off the coast and one over MI - and the more the Great Lakes one wins, the more southerly Florence will be.
"It was located farther north in the Atlantic than any other storm to ever hit the Carolinas, so what we're forecasting is unprecedented", said AccuWeather's Marshall Moss, vice president of forecasting and graphics operations.
The path of Hurricane Florence could affect the homes of more than 5 million people, and more than 1 million of them have been ordered to evacuate.
"Bad things can happen when you're talking about a storm this size", Trump said Wednesday morning.
The NHC said the first tropical storm-force winds of at least 39 miles per hour (63 kph) would hit the region early on Thursday with the storm's center reaching the coast Friday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is calling Florence a major and deadly storm.
Duke came under pressure to address coal-ash storage after about 39,000 tons spilled in 2014 from a pond near Eden, North Carolina.
By Saturday, total rainfall could accumulate to 20 inches (51 centimetres) - or even 30 inches in places - in parts of the Carolinas and Virginia, the NHC said. After the storm hits, staff are prepared to inspect the sites by foot, boat, and drone.
Trouble began brewing last week, when three hurricanes-Florence, Isaac, and Helene-starting churning up the North Atlantic.
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The coastal surge from Florence could leave the eastern tip of North Carolina under more than 9 feet of water in spots, projections showed.
But his partner, Emily Whisler, said she will stay at the university where she is a resident in the psychiatry program. If hog farmers in impacted areas accomplish this, the waste lagoons should be able to handle nearly 3 ft of rainfall, experts at North Carolina State University said.
"If we get more than 25 inches of rain, then we'll start to be concerned", he said.
"Not much has changed since this morning", meteorologist Chris Fisher from the National Weather Service said.
While the storm's maximum sustained winds edged lower on Wednesday, those of tropical-storm-force expanded outward, extending 195 miles and putting more people at risk when the storm finally comes ashore, expected near the border separating the Carolinas.
In South Carolina, traffic along parts of Interstate 26 and United States 501 has been directed away from the coast.
Florence, a category 4 hurricane, is now moving in a west-northwesterly direction at 17mph.
Lauren Hancock, a resident of Wrightsville Beach in the state's evacuation zone, said: "I'm looking across the street at a gas station, and it's a madhouse".
"With the storm not making landfall until at least Friday, residents have more time to evacuate and prepare".
"Florence is expected to weaken as it moves away from North Carolina regardless of whether it goes within or down the coast - whatever the track ends up being".
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