Search-and-rescue team from Maryland heads to SC before storm

People buy supplies at The Home Depot in Wilmington North Carolina as Florence closed in on North and South Carolina

Based off the latest forecast track from the NHC, Florence will approach the southeast us coast by Thursday.

LATER NEXT WEEK: The remnants of Hurricane Florence could bring some heavy rain to the D.C. region by next week. The storm now has maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour and gusts as high as 90 miles per hour.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency as well as mandatory evacuation orders along the eastern coastline.

Residents and visitors should prepare for rising waters, flash flooding and keep in mind to never drive across flooded roadways.

Sharp said weather conditions will deteriorate as we go through the day on Thursday with rain, a little wind and the chance of tornadoes.

Forecasts are coming into agreement on the storm hitting near the border of North and SC. McMaster on Sunday predicted Florence will likely deliver "a strong hit on SC", though he cautioned that it's still uncertain how bad the Palmetto State will be affected.

DE emergency management officials are monitoring the path of Hurricane Florence as the powerful storm approaches the coast later this week.

FRIDAY: Widespread showers and thunderstorms.

A tropical storm warning was issued for the islands of Martinique, Dominica and Guadaloupe, with a tropical storm warning for Antigua, Monserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis and Saba and St. Eustatius. Forecasts predict as much as 20 inches of rain in some places but one computer model warned there could be up to 45 inches, almost four feet.

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The Category 4 storm is the most powerful hurricane to threaten the Carolinas in 3 decades.

The Miami-based center said in its 5 a.m. advisory that Florence was about 625 miles southeast of Bermuda, moving west northwest at 9 mph.

The map below, published by the NOAA, shows the most likely arrival time over the next few days.

Authorities in coastal towns have told residents to pick up sandbags and in North Carolina they are already preparing bulldozers and chain saws in case they are needed in any future clean-up and rescue operations.

Updated NHC forecasts showed the storm lingering near the coast of the Carolinas, carrying days of heavy rains that could bring intense inland flooding from SC to Virginia.

"A motion toward the northwest is forecast to begin by this afternoon and continue through Thursday", the hurricane center says.

A rip current forms when high wind and breaking waves push water from the sea to the land. Up to 15-25 inches is expected in many areas where Hurricane Florence hits.

It is predicted to stall even more off the coast of the Carolinas before scraping down the U.S. east coast and moving inland before the weekend.

The NHC also was tracking two other hurricanes farther out in the Atlantic: Category 1 Isaac and Category 2 Helene.

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