Awesome astronaut photos show hurricanes swirling in the Atlantic

Florence becomes a hurricane as it barrels toward the U.S

The National Hurricane Center said Florence was expected to slam into the coast around North and SC as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane on Thursday or Friday.

Hurricane Florence could become a Category 5 storm by the time it makes landfall on Thursday, with winds of 140mph recorded already. "But we are not going to gamble with the lives of the people of SC".

Separately, Trump also declared a state of emergency for the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific as they prepare for Typhoon Mangkhut.

Hurricane Florence is predicted to slam into the US East Coast as a "major" storm.

With mandatory evacuations already issued for parts of three East Coast states, millions of Americans are preparing for what could become one of the most catastrophic hurricanes to hit the Eastern Seaboard in decades. If you do, move to higher ground before the storm storms.

"North Carolina is taking Hurricane Florence seriously and you should too", said Governor Cooper.

The governor warned residents that Florence was gaining strength and that the winds would likely be higher than other recent hurricanes.

At 11 a.m., the center of the storm was about 775 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

By Friday night Florence will be down to a tropical storm.

"There is an increasing risk of two life-threatening impacts from Florence: storm surge at the coast, freshwater flooding from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event inland, and damaging hurricane-force winds", the NHC warned.

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■ A "life-threatening storm surge" at the coast - a rise in ocean water over normally dry land.

For many, the challenge could be finding a safe refuge: If Florence slows to a crawl just off the coast, it could carry torrential rains up into the Appalachian mountains, causing flash floods, mudslides and other unsafe weather across a wide area.

"It's scary to all of us".

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

The US Navy said it was sending almost 30 ships from coastal Virginia out of port to ride out the storm. Many more were left to wonder where they might be safe if days of torrential rains unleash floods from the mountains to the sea. By 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), the previously calm surf began to show some chop.

It said about 750 military personnel would be designated to provide support.

Hurricane Florence is slowly closing in on the southeastern US coast.

Other military personnel, however, could find themselves directly in harm's way.

The National Hurricane Center predicts Florence will reach the East Coast as early as Wednesday night, and its winds are nearing 140 miles per hour.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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