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Trump urges public to heed hurricane warnings
President Trump on Monday in a pair of tweets urged the public to heed the warnings of state and local officials ahead of Hurricane Florence's projected landfall and said the federal government is taking steps "to respond accordingly."
"The Storms in the Atlantic are very dangerous," Trump tweeted. "We encourage anyone in the path of these storms to prepare themselves and to heed the warnings of State and Local officials. The Federal Government is closely monitoring and ready to assist. We are with you!"
"To the incredible citizens of North Carolina, South Carolina and the entire East Coast - the storm looks very bad! Please take all necessary precautions," he wrote in a second tweet. "We have already began mobilizing our assets to respond accordingly, and we are here for you!"
The hurricane, which earlier Monday strengthened to a category 4, is expected to make landfall somewhere in South Carolina or North Carolina later this week. Other areas along the East coast will likely be affected by winds and flooding.
If the storm makes landfall in North Carolina as a category 4, it would be the strongest storm on record to hit the United States that far north.
Tropical storm-force winds could reach the coast by Wednesday night, and hurricane-force winds could reach by Thursday night into Friday, according to The Washington Post.
Trump later tweeted that he was briefed on the situation by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The president also said he spoke with South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R), North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D), and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) to discuss the impending storm and assure them the federal government is ready to provide assistance.
"My people just informed me that this is one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast in many years," Trump wrote in a separate tweet. "Also, looking like a direct hit on North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!"
The storm has prompted the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia to each declare state of emergencies in their states.
McMaster on Monday ordered the evacuation of every resident who lives on the state's coastline.
The storm also caused Trump to cancel a rally in Mississippi that was scheduled for Friday.
-Brett Samuels contributed. Updated at 7:41 p.m.