Residents in the path of 'life-threatening' Hurricane Florence still refusing to leave

Some residents are still staying behind as a potentially life-threatening hurricane bears down on the east coast of the United States.

The category 4 storm is expect to make landfall in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia on Thursday night (local time) and around 1 million people have been evacuated.

The amount of traffic evacuating was so intense that officials in South Carolina reversed the flow of traffic on major highways so all lanes went in the same direction.

But still some people remain behind and there are grave concerns for their safety.

"The local mayor here has stressed to me that those that do stay behind, they're really putting not just the first responders at risk, but also their own lives," CNN correspondent Nick Valencia told The AM Show.

"They're closing the hospitals; they're evacuating the emergency room as well in anticipation for what is thought to be one of the worst storms that has ever hit this coast."

Mr Valencia said people staying is a consistent theme of hurricanes as they believe they will be fine.

"Every storm it happens, I was in Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year, I've covered my fair share of hurricanes and every single time without fail there are people that stay behind."