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Hurricane warnings send East Coast residents rushing to prepare as Matthew churns toward US

As major Hurricane Matthew churns toward the United States, residents along the southeastern coast are rushing to prepare.

Hurricane warnings have been issued along the east coast of Florida.

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Residents from Florida to the Carolinas are rushing to stores to stock up on supplies. Gas stations were also popular spots with long lines forming in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday morning. The state's attorney general cautioned against price gauging.

Schools along the eastern coast of Florida are closed through the rest of the week in anticipation of the hurricane.

Beth Johnson fills up her car after waiting in line at a Sunoco gas station in advance of Hurricane Matthew in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

Shelves at a Walmart in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., were empty on Tuesday night. (Twitter photo/@Sshine72)


On Tuesday, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said that over 1 million people would need to be evacuated from the state's coastal communities. Evacuations began on Wednesday. She said the goal is for residents to move at least 100 miles away from the coast.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for 13 counties. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory issued a state of emergency for 66 counties.

"I cannot stress enough how critical it is that all of our residents in central and eastern North Carolina begin preparations for their families and homes," McCrory said. "For those residents in the eastern parts of the state, it is especially critical that you update your emergency supply kits in case you need to evacuate and always follow the directions of your local emergency officials."

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for every county.

President Obama canceled a campaign stop in Florida this week and instead will visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency's headquarters.