Hurricane Florence: South Carolina vs. Marshall matchup canceled due to storm

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The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said its trajectory continues to show that the centre of Hurricane Florence will most likely strike the southern coast of North Carolina by late Thursday or early Friday.

Although the storm has been designated Category 3 rather than 4, emergency services were warning it could hit the coast with the force of a "Mike Tyson punch."

Florence is already a Category 4 storm with 130mph winds.

"This is not going to be a glancing blow, " warned Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Florence is expected to make landfall late Thursday night or early Friday morning, Mountain Time, somewhere between Atlantic Beach, NC and Savannah, GA.

The pivot in the forecasted track of Florence led Georgia's governor to declare a state of emergency for all 159 counties, home to 10.5 million people.

In a news release Wednesday, Gov. Nathan Deal says the state "is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Florence". Potential threats from hurricanes include powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, tornadoes, and landslides. North and SC and Virginia declared emergencies earlier in the week.

Another commenter said: 'That hurricane better be taking me to dinner first'.

At least 25 million residents are at risk from the storm and experts predict its current path could cause up to $170 billion worth of damage, hit up to 759,000 homes and businesses and become the costliest to ever hit the U.S.

"Everything is packed", Espinoza said. "If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have minded staying here".

"Florence is intensifying", said North Carolina's Governor Roy Cooper, adding: "This storm is strong, and its gettings stronger".

"This is a real hurricane that we have coming and our goal is to protect lives and property", said Steve Goldstein, NOAA liaison to FEMA.

More than 1 million have been ordered to evacuate the coastlines of the Carolinas and Virginia. Tropical Storm Isaac was east of the Lesser Antilles and expected to pass south of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and Cuba, while Hurricane Helene was moving northward away from land.

About 1.7 million residents have been urged to flee from parts of North and SC.

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