Hurricane Florence could be Category 3 by Wednesday, headed straight for Wilmington

10 September, 2018, 12:09 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Tropical Storm Florence is expected to restrengthen into a major hurricane before threatening US

The governors of North and SC and Virginia have already declared states of emergency, but winds and flooding caused by Florence could do serious damage even if it remains offshore.

The National Hurricane Center says it is still too early to predict the hurricane's exact path, but a huge coastal area from northern Florida to North Carolina should prepare for a major hit.

"Florence is forecast to rapidly strengthen to a major hurricane by Monday night, and is expected to remain an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday", the advisory added.

Hurricane Florence is expected to move toward the U.S. East Coast this upcoming week with the potential of life-threatening flooding and gusty winds.

The storm's sustained winds reached 75 mph, just over the threshold for a hurricane, as it made its way across the Atlantic, about 750 miles southeast of Bermuda, the National Hurricane Center said. Drawing energy from the warm water, it could be a fearsome Category 4 with winds of 130 miles per hour (209 kph) or more by Tuesday, the Miami-based centre said.

In Charleston, South Carolina, along the coast, city officials offered sandbags to residents.

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McMaster said he had asked President Donald Trump to declare a federal emergency in SC in anticipation of the storm's arrival.

"Make your plans now", South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster urged residents during a news conference on Sunday.

Florence is already causing rough surf and rip currents along the North Carolina coast, and parts of the Carolina coast could begin feeling significant impacts from the storm as early as Wednesday night.

The university said Sunday that it has issued a voluntary evacuation for students starting at noon Monday. It says the hurricane should approach the US coast on Thursday.

Red flags flying on beaches warned swimmers to stay out of waters already roiled by the distant storm, and cruise ships and Navy vessels were set to be steered out of harm's way.

As Hurricane Florence heads toward the East Coast, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington is encouraging its students to leave campus this week for a safer location.

Could Florence threaten Cape Cod as a hurricane?
On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the warm waters of the southwestern Atlantic Ocean through Wednesday. ET Friday, Florence's maximum sustained winds were about 60 miles per hour , according to the National Hurricane Center .

The biggest threats include flooding and damaging winds.

A total of nine storms have developed so far this season, with four hurricanes and one major hurricane.

"I got a lot of canned vegetables, some that you don't have to cook on the stove, and I got a lot of water and a lot of bread", Johnson said.

There are now no USA alerts for Hurricane Florence, although that is expected to change this week as Florence moves closer to land.

Helene is expected to go out to sea after passing the Cabo Verde Islands, but Isaac could be on a path to the Caribbean, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria almost a year ago.

Officials say Tropical Storm Helene is approaching islands off the western coast of Africa.

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