WATCH | Hurricane Florence strengthens to Category 4
State of emergency was declared in Virginia
"This storm is strong, and it's getting stronger."
This was the message from North Carolina governor Roy Cooper as Hurricane Florence was upgraded to a Category 4 storm.
The storm is expected to hit the US East Coast on Thursday.
Cooper ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks and parts of coastal Dare County.
In neighbouring South Carolina, governor Henry McMaster ordered around a million residents of the state's eastern coast to leave their homes. A state of emergency was also declared in Virginia.