South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered an evacuation of his state's entire coast and predicted as many as one million people would leave their homes. An hour later, at noon, the agency tweeted that Florence had grown again to a Category 4, with maximum sustained winds near 130 mph.
Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, and North and SC have all declared states of emergency. Its centre will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday and approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said.
Additionally, Hurricane Florence is expected to slow as it approaches the coast, producing significant rainfall, leading to flooding north and south of its track.
Although the focus on where Hurricane Florence makes landfall is drawing lots of attention, another looming threat could be the worst impact of this monster storm: disastrous, deadly flooding from days of relentless rain.
"They're going to pre-position us and get us in the area of where the storm is going to hit, and then they'll move us to wherever we're needed", he added. Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall in the Tar Heel State on Friday.
The relaxed rebooking policies include airports in the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia, with Southwest expanding its policy north to include Baltimore/Washington International, Reagan National and Dulles airports.
Craig Fugate, a former Fema director, said: "I'm afraid, based on my experience at Fema, that the public is probably not as prepared as everybody would like".
Meanwhile, games affecting Major League Baseball pennant races likely will be impacted by Florence.
"All parts of the state could be affected by the storm", Cooper, a Democrat, said at a news conference Monday morning, warning that power outages could last for "a while".
Florence is moving west-northwest at around 15 miles per hour, officials said.
Officials are expecting the evacuation traffic to peak Thursday morning.
More than one million people in the United States have been asked to evacuate ahead of what could potentially be one of the most catastrophic storms to hit the country's East Coast region in decades.
"Don't concentrate on the exact forecast track of Hurricane Florence". The biggest risks from Hurricane Florence may not come from wind, but from the associated rainfall.
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