A satellite image shows Hurricane Florence looming in the Atlantic Ocean as the sun rises over the U.S. Florence is expected to bring tropical storm conditions to North Carolina and SC on Thursday and hurricane conditions on Friday.
The center says the storm is moving west-northwest at 17 miles per hour, and has maximum sustained winds of about 130 miles per hour.
As well, Global Affairs said Wednesday Canadians should avoid travelling to parts of the Caribbean, including Dominica, Guadeloupe and Martinique, because tropical storm Isaac is headed in that direction.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned that staying put would be a grave mistake and said people in evacuation zones "need to get out now".
The European Model projects that Florence will track a bit further south, bringing more severe weather to SC.
Deal cited the storm's "forecasted southward track" in a statement declaring a state of emergency.
Many forecasters are comparing the rainfall potential from Florence to Hurricane Harvey, which caused historic flooding in the Houston area.
In addition to stronger winds, rain chances will also increase through the second half of the weekend. "It's going to be really, really bad along the coast", Trump said.
A search-and-rescue team is being deployed by FEMA from Montgomery County in Maryland to help in SC as the area braces for Hurricane Florence. "You're going to be displaced from your home in coastal areas".
In Charleston, South Carolina, some residents were making preparations to leave Tuesday while others planned to ride out the storm.
The last time the USA capital declared a state of emergency was in January 2016 when a winter storm dubbed "Snowzilla" blanketed the capital region in knee-deep snow.
And in the 29 years since Hurricane Hugo struck, the population of the coastal Carolinas has skyrocketed.
"It can save your life", he said.
"The threat to life from storm surge and rainfall will not diminish, and these impacts will cover a large area regardless of exactly where the center of Florence moves". Some 7,000 guard members are ready to mobilize in North Carolina, while 1,100 will be activated in SC.
The NHC said Florence is expected to be an "extremely risky major hurricane" when it makes landfall in the Carolinas late Thursday or early Friday, bringing life-threatening storm surge to coastal areas.
The earliest reasonable time that tropical storm force winds could arrive on the East Coast is Thursday morning, and the most likely time is Thursday mid- to late-day. The federal government was "absolutely, totally prepared" for Florence, the president said, according to a live stream of his press conference at the White House.