Over one million people evacuated as Hurricane Florence approaches US
The hurricane is the most powerful storm to take aim at the US mainland this year.
Over one million people have been ordered to leave their homes in Virginia and South Carolina as a dangerous hurricane nears the US coast.
Hurricane Florence is expected to start making an impact from Thursday, bringing with it devastating winds and storm surges in the states.
Florence is currently rated as a category four storm, the second highest rating by the US national weather service, who predict it could be the worst hurricane in modern history to hit the southeastern US.
Currently, the storm has winds of over 209km and is expected to gain in strength as it approaches land.
"The hurricane is particularly big, particularly strong and there’s nothing stopping it," South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said at a news conference on Monday.
"And when it hits the Gulf Stream in warmer water, it’s going to [intensify] even more."
#Florence is now a powerful Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph. #GOESEast captured this close-up of the storm's eye as it continues tracking toward the southeastern U.S. Latest: https://t.co/vziaU0pOhE pic.twitter.com/SvHPKYGZsC
— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) September 10, 2018
He ordered the evacuation of coastal areas to start at noon on Tuesday as it approaches, adding that the storm surge could reach as high as 10ft and cause severe flooding.
"We know this evacuation order I’m issuing is going to be inconvenient," McMaster said.
"But we’re willing to suffer some inconvenience.”
The United States was hit with a series of high-powered storms last year, including Hurricane Harvey, which killed about 68 people and caused an estimated $1.25 billion in damage to the city of Houston.
The last category four storm to hit the region was Hurricane Raymond in 1989. During this, one fatality was recorded and damage throughout Arizona amounted to $1.5 million.