>> Hurricane Florence was uninvited, but she's just about here anyway.>> North Carolina's Governor sounding the alarm just hours before hurricane Florence is expected to hit the state's coast, Thursday. The category 2 hurricane could cause catastrophic flooding, with winds that could top 80 miles per hour.>> This slow moving, very large hurricane will bring a long term, extreme rain, storm surge, and hurricane force wind threat to eastern North Carolina and South Carolina.
>> The coastal city of Wilmington, North Carolina already feeling the storm's approach. Reuters' correspondent, Ernie Scheyder, is there.>> You can see the Cape Fear River right over my shoulder here, where the water is slowly rising and moving quite fast. It's expected to experience a giant storm surge once Florence hits North Carolina dead on.
>> Florence's expanse even captured the attention of astronauts aboard the International Space Station, who tweeted these photos. As the hurricane creeps closer, officials have ordered more than 1 million people to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, and thousands have been moved to emergency shelters.>> Many of Wilmington's small businesses have already boarded up their locations, but several still remain open.
Waffle House, which has a point of pride of never closing, says it will continue to serve Wilmington no matter what Florence brings to the city. I ran into several people walking their dogs, just taking in the sights, and even getting in that last bit of sunshine peeking through the clouds.
>> For those folks, North Carolina's Governor issuing a stern warning.>> Don't relax. Don't get complacent. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill.>> Meanwhile, the man responsible for the disaster response, Brock Long, so distracted Thursday by a story in Political that he's under investigation over his use of government vehicles, that he got the name of the hurricane wrong.
>> Regardless of an article, right now, I am 100% focused on Floyd and that's exactly where our attention needs to be from the standpoint of the Life Safety Mission. So with that, we're gonna invite in our federal partners. Florence, excuse me.>> Hurricane Florence is expected to linger for three days, prompting the Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland, and Georgia to declare a state of emergency.