Will Hurricane Florence Hit Georgia? Donald Trump Warns 'Be Ready, Be Prepared'

Final evacuations and preparations were underway Wednesday ahead of Hurricane Florence's approach to the southeast coast of the United States, which is expected to occur late Thursday and early into Friday morning.

The Category 4 storm was traveling west-northwest at 17 miles per hour Wednesday with sustained wind speeds of 130 miles per hour. The storm was taking its time in its approach to the coast—giving it plenty of opportunity to pick up more water to dump on the Carolinas and possibly Georgia by the time it makes landfall.

President Donald Trump has been monitoring the hurricane and took to Twitter on Wednesday to share that Florence might be headed for Georgia.

"Hurricane Florence may now be dipping a bit south and hitting a portion of the Great State of Georgia. Be ready, be prepared!" the president wrote.

While early forecasts showed the storm hitting the Carolinas, along with part of Virginia, and then heading northwest over the country, the updated forecast showed it could possibly turn and actually reach east Georgia. The latest updated map from the National Hurricane Center showed that Florence could reach east Georgia sometime in the early-morning hours of Monday.

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The updated forecast for Hurricane Florence from the National Hurricane Center shows that it might end up tracking in the direction of Georgia. National Hurricane Center/NOAA

The exact damage the storm could cause is not known because the storm is still several days away. While the storm is packing strong winds and plenty of potential for dropping dozens of inches of rain, it's hard to know what that will mean by Sunday or Monday.

Trump noted that the country was sparing no expense in its response and preparations for the approaching hurricane. Evacuations were ordered up and down the coastline and even inland, where flooding was still a significant risk.

"The forecast track trend has been farther south, which increasingly brings parts of Georgia into play for at least some direct effects, how much depending on what exact path the storm ends up taking. That includes gusty winds and heavy rain, and, if the storm were to go far enough south, the coast would have storm surge. Regardless, dangerous waves will reach the shore," Stu Ostro, senior director of weather communications and senior meteorologist at the Weather Channel, told Newsweek.

The National Weather Service's Atlanta office issued a statement on Twitter Wednesday that said, "The track has shifted southward, so the chances of seeing tropical storm force winds and higher rainfall have increased once again for E. GA."

The track the storm could take after it makes landfall has the potential to change, so those in Georgia should be prepared for the storm regardless of what the forecasts are saying, the National Weather Service office advised.

Anyone in the area where the storm, or its winds and rains, could hit should pay attention to local announcements and follow any evacuations orders that are issued by authorities.

This story has been updated to include comments from Stu Ostro of the Weather Channel.

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President Donald Trump following a briefing on Hurricane Florence in the Oval Office on September 11.He tweeted Wednesday that those in Georgia should prepare for the hurricane. Zach Gibson/AFP/Getty Images
Will Hurricane Florence Hit Georgia? Donald Trump Warns 'Be Ready, Be Prepared' | U.S.