Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Florence set to become major hurricane, aims at US Southeast

Florence set to become major hurricane, aims at US Southeast

Maximum sustained winds were clocked at 140 miles per hour (220 kph) as it moved west-northwest at 13 miles per hour (20 kph).

Hurricane Florence has maximum sustained winds of 90 mph as of 11 p.m. Sunday, and is 685 miles southeast of Bermuda, moving west at 7 mph.

The NHC was also tracking two other storms farther out in the Atlantic. "On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday".

September 8 - NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft began recon flights and noted additional development of the storm, lending credence to computer modeling that suggested rapid re-intensification of Florence into a major hurricane.

The National Weather Center warned of risky rip currents in popular tourist areas like Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks.

The governors of SC and Virginia also declared states of emergency far ahead of the approaching storm. Thus, you should stay alert in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, especially along the coasts. "Florence continues on a track to impact the USA mainland by Thursday or Friday".

Most computer models predict Florence will slow down as it moves inland, Hennen said, which could add to the heavy rains and potential floods.

"We are preparing for the worst, and of course hoping for the best", South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said.

The National Hurricane Center warned residents to prepare for heavy rainfall and "life-threatening hazards" later in the week.

Several meteorologists said Florence could do what Hurricane Harvey did past year over Texas, dumping days of rain, although not quite as bad.

"Everyone in North Carolina needs to keep a close eye on Florence and take steps now to get ready for impacts later this week", Cooper said.

A mandatory evacuation order was issued for North Carolina's Hatteras Island starting at noon Monday, Dare County Emergency Management. said.

Due to the typical uncertainties that exist on a storm's track and strength this far out, the storm surge unit from the National Hurricane Center has advised specific forecasts related to Florence would not be available until Tuesday.

Swells up to 15 feet high could reach the coast, Myers said, and the storm system is likely to stall when it crosses land, dumping up to 20 inches of rain in some inland locations.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's office described Florence as possibly the state's "most significant hurricane event in decades", warning of "catastrophic inland flooding, high winds and possible widespread power outages".

Not only has the storm exploded in intensity, but its zone of hurricane-force winds approximately doubled in size Monday.

"What that means for us is whatever happens, we're going to have a lot of rain and a lot of wind", he said, adding, "Presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of SC".

"On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday and approach the southeastern coast of the United States on Thursday", the NHC said Sunday.

"We need to watch this storm very, very closely", Live 5 Meteorologist Joey Sovine said. "I plan to do most of my cooking on the grill".

In coastal Charleston, city officials offered sandbags to residents.

North Carolina crews were getting bulldozers and chain saws ready.

Ilija Cesal told the newspaper he wouldn't worry about buying extra water or other supplies for a few more days.

"Im telling them to go inland, but Im anxious about the rain and tornadoes too", Roberts said. Hurricane Isaac was expected to lose strength as it reaches the Caribbean, and Helene, much farther out to sea, may veer northward into the open ocean as the 2018 hurricane season reaches its peak.

Crowds of shoppers formed at supermarkets on Sunday, as people tried to stock up on supplies before the storm.

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