The U.S Atlantic coast bracing for Florence

Hurricane Florence is inching closer to the mid Atlantic states.

The U.S. National Hurricane Centre says the now Category 4 storm is about a thousand kilometres southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.

Florence is expected to strengthen to a Category 5 storm today bringing winds of 253 km/h or higher to the coast.

Forecasters predict Florence will make landfall on the Carolina coast late tomorrow night.

The hurricane is expected to stall over portions of the Carolinas and Virginia for two days and bring drenching rains with it.

There are warnings the storm has the potential to destroy homes and infrastructure and knock out power for days or weeks.

Up to 600 millimetres of rain could fall in parts of North Carolina when Florence makes landfall.