Hurricane Florence continues barreling toward east coast

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. — Hurricane Florence is making a beeline for the east coast and make no mistake, Flo's got some major mojo.

"This is going to be, you know, a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast," says Jeff Byard with FEMA.

With empty beaches and over-stocked supply shelves, this is known as the calm before the storm makes landfall Friday night or Saturday.  It`s expected to bring a salt water storm surge anywhere from 9 to 19 feet. Forecasters also say parts of the coastal Carolinas may sustain hurricane force winds for more than 24 hours.

FEMA officials are telling folks to get out now, before it's too late.

"I want to hammer that importance home,"

A state of emergency has been issued in Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia. The national guard has been deployed in North Carolina.

"By 7 p.m. today, 2800 soldiers will be on active duty joined by even more on standby," says North Carolina's Governor, Roy Cooper.

High def images from the International Space Station capture the eye churning across the Atlantic with winds more than 130 miles per hour.  Astronaut Alexander Gerst tweets "Watch out, America! This is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you."

Byard says, "The time to act is now. The power will come back on. The roads will be repaired. But we cannot repair the loss of life."

President Trump`s no weatherman, but he's right about Florence.  "Get out of its way. Don`t play games with it. It`s a big one."

Despite stern warnings, some residents, like Casey Dodson, are choosing to ride out the storm by sheltering in place.  "We`re gonna lose power but we got plenty of flashlights and stuff like that so, just gonna bunker down and see what happens."

For those staying put, good luck going with the Flo.

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