Trump declares state of emergency in Carolinas ahead of Hurricane Florence

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE on Monday evening declared a state of emergency in North Carolina and South Carolina as the two states brace for Hurricane Florence.

Trump ordered federal assistance be made available to bolster state and local responses to the storm. The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will coordinate response efforts, according to Trump's order.

Hurricane Florence developed into a Category 4 storm on Monday, and has the potential to strengthen to a Category 5 before it makes landfall, according to the National Hurricane Center.

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The storm is expected to reach South Carolina and North Carolina later this week. Residents in certain areas of both states have been ordered to evacuate their homes.

As of Monday night, the president had not yet declared a state of emergency in Virginia, which is also expected to receive damaging rains and winds after the storm makes landfall.

Virginia's congressional delegation called on Trump earlier in the day to issue such a declaration to assist with the state's emergency response.

Trump warned residents in a series of tweets earlier Monday to heed local guidelines about the storm. He also noted that he'd been in contact with the governors of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia to assure them the federal government was available to provide assistance. 

Separately, Trump also declared a state of emergency for the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific as they prepare for Typhoon Mangkhut.