Hurricane Florence is making its way to the southern East Coast, bearing down on the Carolinas and Virginia. In a video shared by meteorologist Mar Gómez, the eye of the Category 4 storm can be seen as it builds steam over the Atlantic Ocean.
All eyes are on Hurricane Florence and its path toward the Carolinas. Now with category 4 and it is expected to reach #USA with this category.— Mar Gómez (@MarGomezH) September 11, 2018
Here you can see the eye of #Florence 😱 Be safe! pic.twitter.com/ekTD2OWRiM
Watch the eye of the storm in the video above.
More than one million people are under mandatory evacuation orders in coastal areas of Virginia, North Caroline and South Carolina as the storm, which is already packing winds as strong as 140 mph, nears the shore. CBS News reports that Florence is expected to be upgraded to a Category 5 storm on Tuesday.
The governors of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina have issued state of emergency declarations. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the state is in the "bull's eye" of the hurricane.
Tropical-storm-force winds are due to reach the coasts of North and South Carolina late Wednesday night, with hurricane-force-winds possibly hitting around noon Thursday. The storm will likely make landfall Thursday night, according to CNN.
Before that, Florence's center will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The center of the storm weakened slightly on Tuesday morning, but CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said it will regain its strength.
"We do expect (the storm's) eye to get its act together again later today and become that almost-Category 5 storm at 150 to 155 mph," Myers told CNN Tuesday morning.
The National Hurricane Center said that Florence is expected to restrengthen Tuesday and "be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday night."
The storm will bring life-threatening storm surges — up to 12 feet — along the coasts and up to 30 inches of rain over parts of the Carolinas and Virginia through Saturday.
The last time North Carolina was hit by a Category 4 hurricane was in 1954. Barrier islands have seen the effects of the storm already, with rip currents and rising seawater impacting the area.
Florence is projected to be the most powerful storm to ever hit North Carolina.
The storm has been quickly strengthening thanks to the warm waters of the Atlantic, and was classified as a hurricane on Sunday. It was then upgraded to Category 3 on Monday and reclassified as Category 4 just hours later.
Cooper and South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said that they sent requests to President Donald Trump for a federal emergency declaration.
Just had calls with South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam regarding the incoming storm. Federal Government stands by, ready to assist 24/7.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2018
"My people just informed me that this is one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast in many years. Also, looking like a direct hit on North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE," Trump tweeted. "Just had calls with South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam regarding the incoming storm. Federal Government stands by, ready to assist 24/7."