Hurricane Florence, a powerful Category 4 storm, early Wednesday showed it could stall upon reaching the Carolina coast and make a slight shift south toward South Carolina once it makes landfall , becoming "a major flooding event," according to Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean.
The storm, which is poised to affect millions this week in the southeastern U.S., is "expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and rainfall" to North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, and parts of the Mid-Atlantic states, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
Here’s what should you know about the powerful storm’s path.
Where is the hurricane now?
Florence is approximately 385 miles southwest of Bermuda and around 575 miles southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, as of 5 a.m. ET, according to the NHC.
The center says the storm is moving west-northwest at 17 mph, and has maximum sustained winds of about 130 mph.
"On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas [Wednesday], and approach the coast of North Carolina or South Carolina in the hurricane warning area on Thursday and Friday," the NHC says.
The center also says the storm could become more powerful.
"Florence is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale," it noted. "Strengthening is forecast through [Wednesday]. While some weakening is expected on Thursday, Florence is forecast to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane as it approaches the U.S. coast."
What happens if the storm stalls?
Early Wednesday the storm was predicted to stall along the southeastern coast when it makes landfall Thursday into Friday. North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia coasts could experience prolonged hurricane force winds and rain.
Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean said it could be a “major flooding event.”
Storm surge along the coastline could bring upwards of six to 15 feet of water depending on where the eye comes ashore, Dean said.
What else should I know?
States of emergency were declared by Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser for the nation’s capital; requested by Virginia’s governor; and approved by President Donald Trump for North and South Carolina on Monday.
"Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!" the president tweeted Monday evening.
If you’re getting ready for Florence, you can read about steps to prepare for the storm here.
Fox News’ Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Stephen Sorace and The Associated Press contributed to this report.