Hurricane Florence has intensified Monday morning when it became a Category 4 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). More than 1.5 million people have been ordered to evacuate after the "life-threatening" hurricane continues to creep closer with its disastrous 140 m.p.h winds.
Late Monday, President Donald Trump approved an emergency declaration for North Carolina. This authorized the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA to implement disaster relief efforts for "the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population," the White House statement said, according to reports.
The dangerous storm will affect millions of lives this week in the southeastern United States. The states are North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.
As of 8 a.m. ET, according to the NHC, Florence is roughly 405 miles south of Bermuda and 950 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina. The storm is traveling west-northwest at 15 m.p.h. and has maximum winds of about 130 m.p.h.
"On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the coast of South Carolina or North Carolina on Thursday," NHC said and added that the storm could get more powerful.
"Florence is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale," the center reported. "Further strengthening is anticipated, and Florence is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday."
Scientists warn that the unusually warm waters in the Atlantic Ocean could expedite the storm’s winds to 155 m.p.h giving it near Category 5 intensity.
Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall Thursday and is thought to be the most catastrophic storms to hit the Eastern United States in decades.
People who live inland should prepare for power loss, flooding and possibly other hazards as the storm may liner of the Carolinas once it reaches the shore, according to National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered the state's entire coastline to evacuate; he predicts that about 1 million people would flee.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper says that the state was "in the bullseye" of the storm, and he strongly urged people to "get out now."
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ordered an evacuation as well and that applies to about 245,000 people.
Please keep everyone in your thoughts and prayers!