Hurricane Florence Intensifies To A Category 4 Storm

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Tens of thousands of people in North Carolina are under evacuation orders Monday as Hurricane Florence makes its way toward the U.S. East Coast. 

Florence intensified to a Category 4 hurricane Monday, with its wind speeds measuring around 130 mph.

Forecasters predict the storm will continue to strengthen as it moves across the Atlantic. It's expected to make landfall somewhere over the Carolinas on Thursday.

The governors of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina have already declared states of emergency.

The National Weather Service reports those states and the surrounding region face increased risk of life-threatening storm surge and heavy flooding. 

The U.S. Navy also ordered nearly 30 ships docked in the area to leave port and wait out the storm in the Atlantic.

If Florence does end up making landfall on North Carolina, it would reportedly be the strongest storm on record to directly hit the U.S. that far up the East Coast.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN