Hurricane Helene heading towards the United Kingdom, bringing chances of gale force winds

Satellite images show Hurricane Florence as it nears U.S. coast

As of now, Florence is due to make landfall very early Friday morning, somewhere in the Carolinas.

NASA also shared this video-a "stark and sobering" view of Hurricane Florence-shot using a high-definition camera outside the ISS captured. Parts of the Carolinas could see 50 cm to 76 cm, with isolated areas getting 101 cm, over seven days along the coast.

Leaders of the states in the path of the storm have warned people all week to evacuate the most susceptible areas. REUTERS/Carlo AllegriDennis Kernodle talks on the phone during storm preparations of his oceanfront home ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, U.S. September 12, 2018.

In Charleston, South Carolina, some residents were making preparations to leave Tuesday while others planned to ride out the storm.

Heavy rains have been forecast to extend into the Appalachian mountains, affecting parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Schools and businesses closed as far south as Georgia, airlines cancelled about 1,200 flights and counting, and coastal towns in the Carolinas were largely emptied out. Storm surge is why many of you have been placed under evacuation and we are asking citizens to please heed a warning.

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as a Category 1 with winds less than 160 kmh, but that's still enough to cause at least US$1 billion in damage.

In Carolina Beach, authorities have stopped allowing traffic to the island via the only bridge between the island and the mainland.

The zone where these intense winds occur will be narrow and they will last just a few hours, but the effects will probably be severe, similar to a tornado.

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In a videotaped message from the White House, President Donald Trump said the government is fully prepared for Florence but urged people to "get out of its way".

"I don't care if this goes down to a Category 1", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said on Thursday. "Flooding is nearly guaranteed".

"We hope to have something left when we get home", she said.

She said: "Helene is moving up from the Atlantic towards us".

Georgia joined North and South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland in issuing an emergency declaration as forecasts showed Florence dumping historic amounts of rain - potentially 10 trillion gallons - on the southern states.

"Watch out, America! #HurricaneFlorence is so enormous, we could only capture her with a super wide-angle lens from the @Space_Station, 400 km directly above the eye", German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted.

This image of Hurricane Florence was captured by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, now living and working onboard the International Space Station. The forecast track has the storm stalling along the coast throughout Friday and into Saturday.

A smaller hurricane dubbed Isaac is reportedly heading for the Caribbean, while Hurricane Helene - now also in the Atlantic - is forecast to track towards the UK. Tropical Storm Olivia has made landfall in the Hawaiian islands, the Philippines are bracing for the powerful typhoon Mangkhut, and Tropical Storm Isaac is nearing the Leeward Islands. Those four storms are brewing at the same time Hurricane Olivia is pounding Hawaii.

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