State of emergency declared in Va. in advance of tropical storm

Pablo Tucker
September 10, 2018

The latest forecast has said the storm's winds have reached nearly 75 miles per hour (120 km/h), which means it is now at hurricane-strength. However, later in the work week, Florence encountered very hostile upper level winds, and the system weakened all of the way down to a tropical storm.

The Miami-based centre defines a major hurricane as one with a wind speed greater than 177 km/h. The National Hurricane Center forecasts Florence to intensify rapidly into a major hurricane by Monday.

In its 11 a.m. Sunday update, the NHC designated Florence as a hurricane.

Governors in Virginia, North Carolina, and SC have declared states of emergency, warning residents to prepare for a risky storm.

Swells generated by Florence could cause unsafe rip currents and coastal flooding on Saturday in areas including coastal DE and New Jersey, the National Weather Service said. This is supposed to show the area in which the storm's center may be by next Thursday and Friday. It will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Wednesday and Thursday, before approaching the southeastern US coast, the NHC said in an advisory.

Regardless of the eventual path of Florence, large swells will affect beaches this upcoming week, creating "rough surf, life-threatening rip currents and steep waves at inlet entrances", the NWS reports.

Forecasters expect Florence to become a Category 3 storm again as early as Monday and predict it will continue to get stronger as it approaches the East Coast. It posted photos showing heavy flooding from previous storms.

The Governor's Office, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Virginia National Guard, the Virginia State Police, and other state agencies have already begun preparations for the impacts of Tropical Storm Florence.

A slew of unsafe storms - hurricanes, tropical storms and a typhoon - are now traveling over both the Atlantic and Pacific.

Risky hurricane expected to reach major storm status Monday.

Cruise ship passengers who planned on a warm-weather vacation but ended up in Atlantic Canada instead say they're disappointed about the last-minute change in plans, but they understand the need to put safety first.

"Our emergency operations center will start up early next week", Knox said, "Because we know that a storm of potentially this size, and potentially of this impact, we as a state need to be in place, on the ground, and ready to help the people of North Carolina".

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