West Point area could start to feel effects of Hurricane Florence Thursday

Here's what causes extreme damage in hurricanes

America's east coast is braced for the worst storm in many years with Hurricane Florence expected to strengthen into a near-Category 5 storm as it approaches the USA where 1.7 million people have been warned to get out of the way.

Meteorologists have given Hurricane Florence, which is now heading towards the U.S., a category four level strength, meaning the storm could cause major structural damage costing millions. The storm was about 235 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina and was moving at about 17 mph on Thursday.

Florence is continuing to move west-northwest at 17 miles per hour, with winds in the 130 miles per hour range, but is giving hints of deviations, says the National Hurricane Center.

Storm -surge warning: South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina and Albemarle and Pamlico sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico rivers as of 2 a.m. Wednesday, the NHC said. But, it's the water, not the wind, that has the potential to make the storm so deadly, experts say.

Cooper and his SC counterpart, Henry McMaster, told the more than 1 million people who have been told to leave that if they don't, they are on their own.

Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic Ocean as it threatens the US East Coast. That funding can not be spent on disaster response, they said.

Graphic shows the storm track of Hurricane Florence.

Communities in Florence's path could lose electricity for weeks due to downed power lines and flooded equipment, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long said.

The monster storm showed signs of slowing down as it inched closer to the USA, according to the National Hurricane Center. We're fully prepared, food, medical, everything you can imagine, we are ready.

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From left, Letitia James, Sean Patrick Maloney, Leecia Eve, and Zephyr Teachout at a debate on August 28 in Manhattan. The flier was then approved by Larry Schwartz, another campaign volunteer who was formerly Cuomo's top lieutenant.

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Trump said: "We are sparing no expense".

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.

What's more certain is beach erosion and unsafe surf conditions.

As of Wednesday morning, 20 eastern North Carolina counties were under either a mandatory or voluntary evacuation, or some combination of the two, according to the N.C. Department of Public Safety.

"A motion toward the northwest is forecast to begin by this afternoon and continue through Thursday", the hurricane center says.

"Been through it!" Belli said, referring to Hurricane Hugo, which caused widespread damage in SC in 1989.

Because Hurricane Florence is so unbelievably massive, astronauts had to use a super wide-angle lens to capture photographs of the monstrous storm from space.

US President Donald Trump has authorised emergency measures to free up federal funds to help those responding to the storm.

The National Weather Service issued an ominous warning. Cars and trucks full of people and belongings streamed inland.

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