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

In 1989, Hurricane Hugo grew to a Category 4 storm before coming ashore near Charleston, South Carolina, where it caused about $14.1 billion in damage when adjusted for inflation, making it the 13th costliest US storm, according to Hurricane Center records. "Damaging hurricane-force winds are likely along portions of the coasts of SC and North Carolina, and a Hurricane Watch will likely be issued by Tuesday morning".

Inland flooding will be exacerbated by the wet summer seen across several eastern U.S. states. Cape Lookout to Ocracoke Island could see 5 to 8 feet of water, experts say.

He also tweeted that this was "one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast in many years".

The storm was upgraded Monday morning to a Category 3 hurricane, but grew to Category 4 a short time later, the National Hurricane Center said Monday. The hurricane is registering maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour. Once the storm makes landfall, McMaster said, it's expected to move slowly, dumping extreme amounts of rain likely to cause flooding.

Florence strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane on Monday.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially began June 1, but cooler water and higher wind shear - winds moving at different speeds and directions - early in the season are less than ideal for tropical systems to gain and maintain strength.

Evacuations of coastal North Carolina began at noon Monday, with Dare County officials calling for the entire county to evacuate.

Residents boarded up their homes and stripped grocery stories bare of food, water and supplies.

The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia on Sunday declared states of emergency, as residents and local governments alike braced for Florence's wrath.

Liz Browning Fox was planning to ignore these orders and ride out the storm in the village of Buxton on the North Carolina Outer Banks.

Just had calls with South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam regarding the incoming storm.

"This is going to produce heavy rainfall, and it may not move very fast".

"We haven't plywooded our house for several years but I am for this one", Pahl, who serves as a Hyde County commissioner said in a phone interview.

Major US military installments may be in the path of the Florence, including the largest Marine base at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and the world's biggest Navy base in Norfolk, Virginia. Tropical storm conditions could hit those areas by Thursday morning, forecasters say.