Hurricane Florence is barreling toward the east coast, on course to slam into the Carolinas this week.
NASA released a satellite image of the perfectly formed storm.
Coastal communities are bracing for up to 15 feet of water.
Days of inland rainfall could reach 20 inches in some places and even though this is happening down south, those who call Connecticut home are still being impacted.
A college student from Woodstock is packing up and ready to head back to CT.
It’s a Category 4 right now and it has the potential to be historic, so this is a tense time for millions down south.
Evacuations are happening right now even though the hurricane is expected to make landfall toward the end of the week.
“It’s going to be a rough time getting it back into shape,” said Jack Gelhaus.
Woodstock native, Jack Gelhaus had his last day of class at Coastal Carolina University.
Coastal Carolina is in Conway and it's right in the path of Florence.
Located just 10 miles from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the campus is in the path of dangerous Hurricane Florence and he’s witnessing the ominous precursors.
“Thirty minutes ago, it got really dark, and started thundering and raining,” Gelhaus.
Gelhaus is one of the million people who are being ordered to evacuate South Carolina’s coast by noon on Tuesday.
On Monday night, he says campus already looks like a ghost town.
“The main road down to the airport is now closed,” said Gelhaus.
He’s packing up and will stay Monday night at a place as close as possible to the airport.
Tomorrow, he’ll board a flight in the afternoon and for the rest of the week, watch Florence make landfall from the comfort of his Woodstock home.
He says those who live in Myrtle Beach are taking this seriously, stocking up on essentials.
“We went to Walmart to get stuff for tonight to eat and we had to wait in a line to get into Walmart,” Gelhaus said.
Florence has the potential to be a devastating storm that brings massive flooding to the Carolinas, especially if it stalls, so Gelhaus is not sure of what type of damage to expect when he returns.
“Category 1 last year and we were out of school for a week. We don’t know what to expect with a Category 4 or 5,” said Gelhaus.
More inland at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, Leah Kaczmarek is seeing people from the coast driving there to seek shelter.
"A lot of time, people come to Columbia to evacuate from the coast," said Kaczmarek.
Classes are canceled for Kaczmarek on Tuesday, so she's planning on heading back home to Cheshire to ride out the storm.
Even though Columbia is 150 miles from the coast, she says her campus is preparing for flooding conditions that could be enhanced if the storm stalls.
"If there's even heavy rain here, like a half hour, it'll start flooding," said Kaczmarek.
Meantime, all eyes will be on the Carolinas.
Six nuclear power plants, pits holding coal ash and other industrial waste are all in the storm’s path.
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