Florence expected to become a 'hurricane' as it heads to US

Pablo Tucker
September 11, 2018

Storms increase in frequency and intensity by mid-August and into September as temperatures in the Atlantic climb to their highest levels, Javaheri said.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence was expected to slam into the coast around North and SC as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane on Thursday or Friday.

Rapidly intensifying Hurricane Florence could strike a direct and risky blow anywhere from the Carolinas to the Mid-Atlantic region later this week.

As of early Monday, Isaac was about 1,230 miles east 1,305 miles (1,985 km) east of the Windward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph), the NHC said. Inland flooding from Hurricane Florence could be significant, the NHC said since Florence is expected to become a very powerful storm in the coming days.

Tropical Storm Florence was upgraded to a hurricane on Sunday morning by the National Hurricane Center.

Far behind Florence is Hurricane Isaac, which had maximum sustained winds at 75 miles per hour (120 kph). If the strength continue to rise, Florence will be one of just three storms in the records to have winds of 150 miles-per-hour this far north, said Phil Klotzbach, a Colorado State University hurricane researcher.

Hurricane Isaac - which late Sunday became the fifth hurricane of the season - is heading west towards the Caribbean.

Helene - now just southeast of the Cabo Verde islands off the African coast - had winds of 85 miles per hour, and was expected to turn northwest and then north into the open Atlantic by midweek, the NHC said.

A westward motion is forecast to continue through the end of the week, with Isaac expected to move across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea Wednesday night or Thursday.

"North Carolina is taking Hurricane Florence seriously, and you should, too", Cooper said.

In addition to a life-threatening storm surge along portions of the coastlines of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, Florence is expected to bring exceptionally heavy rainfall, and flash flooding, as it slowly crawls over the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic.

People up and down the densely populated coast were told to be ready for the worst - and not just for a possible direct blow against the coast.

Red flags flying on beaches warned swimmers to stay out of waters as seas began kicking up. People rushed to get emergency kits ready, map out escape routes, fill sandbags and secure their homes.

In South Carolina, McMaster said that officials planned to help residents evacuate by reversing eastbound lanes of major roads such as Interstate 26 heading into Charleston and US 501 heading into Myrtle Beach.

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service said a landfall likely cannot be pinpointed for another 36 to 48 hours, but computer models and other indicators are lining up for a hit between the state line and Wilmington, but the storm could still hit anywhere from Savannah to Virginia.

In coastal Charleston, city officials offered sandbags to residents.

"Literally, they are filling buggies full of water, shopping carts full of water", Ryan Deeck, grocery department manager at a Walmart, told The Sun News.

"Urge people to pay attention inland and promise themselves now that they're not going to drive their vehicle across any water-covered roads or drive their auto around any barricaded roads that are closed", Knabb says. North Carolina is the nation's third-largest pork producer, according to data compiled by the National Pork Board.

The hurricane will pass through Bermuda before hitting the East Coast. People rushed to buy bottled water, plywood and other supplies.

The U.S. Navy said it was sending almost 30 ships from coastal Virginia out of port to ride out the storm.

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