Evacuations Ordered as Hurricane Florence Becomes Category 4 Storm

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The storm is expected to hit Thursday.

As Hurricane Florence grows stronger, meteorologists say it could hit the Carolinas later this week. 

The storm became a hurricane Sunday morning. On Monday, it quickly intensified to a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 130 mph.

According to its current track, Florence is expected to make landfall along the Southeast or Mid-Atlantic coast Thursday. 

"There is an increasing risk of life-threatening impacts from Florence: storm surge at the coast, freshwater flooding from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event inland and damaging hurricane-force winds," the National Hurricane Center said Monday.

North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have all declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm. 

"We are preparing for the worst, and of course hoping for the best," South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said. "Pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of South Carolina and is going to go way inshore."

A mandatory evacuation was ordered for Hatteras Island and Dare County in North Carolina. More evacuation orders are likely to come.