Expert warnings for Hurricane Florence

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"On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas through Wednesday and approach the coast of North Carolina or SC on Thursday".

- A nationally renowned hurricane expert compares Hurricane Florence with some of the worst disasters in North Carolina's history. Hurricane watches and storm surge watches have been issued from Edisto Beach, S.C. "It's going to destroy homes", said Jeff Byard, an official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Trump, who has faced criticism for his administration's response to Hurricane Maria in 2017, which killed an estimated 3,000 people in the US territory of Puerto Rico, knocked out power to all 3.4 million residents of the Caribbean island, with thousands still without power even six months after the storm hit, said the federal government was "totally prepared" for Florence.

Hurricane Florence intensified to a Category 4 hurricane on Monday as it barreled towards the US East Coast, where millions of people are bracing for potentially devastating winds and water later this week.

If the hurricane makes landfall, this so-called brick wall will likely play the villain again; the brick wall is expected to weaken, meaning it won't help steer Florence out to sea.

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The hurricane is expected to move between Bermuda and the Bahamas through Wednesday before it makes its final approach to the East Coast on Thursday.

Airlines, including American and Southwest, have started letting passengers change travel plans that take them into the hurricane's possible path.

By way of comparison, the maximum intensity of Hurricane Maria, the storm system which path of destruction left nearly 3,000 people dead in Puerto Rico, was 277.8 km/h, (150 knots), the NHC said.

"This one really scares me", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said.

And an unusual combination of other weather systems that are likely to stall Florence when it hits the Carolinas, allowing it to sit for days and dump huge amounts of rain. It took Matheson and her husband almost the whole day Monday to drive the 100km off the barrier island. "All you have to do is look up at your ceiling and think about 12ft of water - that, folks, is extremely life-threatening".

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"As there is a mandatory evacuation order in place for our region, our plant is now closed until further notice, a Volvos spokesperson told us".

"They told me to bring a pillow and blanket", Whisler said.

"The largest threat to life from hurricanes is not the high winds".

Florence is the first of three storms brewing in the Atlantic - ahead of Hurricane Helene and Tropical Storm Isaac, which are not expected to threaten the United States mainland.

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