Hurricane Florence strengthened "rapidly" on Monday, September 10, and is now a powerful Category 4 hurricane, U.S. forecasters said, as governors of 3 eastern USA states declared an emergency and told residents to prepare for the storm.
"Florence is quickly becoming a powerful hurricane", The National Hurricane Center said in a statement Monday morning. The state's emergency management agency said it's "preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster". North Carolina and Virginia have taken similar steps. Even before the evacuation order, Dare County emergency officials warned that rough seas and strong rip currents already were creating risky conditions.
The current forecast track suggests the hurricane will most likely approach North Carolina or SC on Thursday as it gathers speed.
All eyes are on Hurricane Florence and its path toward the Carolinas, but other hurricanes and tropical storms are brewing as well.
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"Florence is expected to be an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday (Sept. 13)", said officials.
Isaac is smaller and weaker than Florence.The NHC expects it to be downgraded to a tropical storm by Friday and Saturday as it moves near or south of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
A warm ocean is the fuel that powers hurricanes, and Florence will be moving over waters where temperatures are peaking near 85 degrees (30 Celsius), Blake wrote.
"Presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of SC". "We know we can't play around with this", said Jennifer Oosterwyk, who owns the Sugar Britches boutique on Holden Beach and lives in nearby Wilmington. The northernmost landfall was made by Hazel, a devastating and deadly storm that struck close to the South Carolina/North Carolina border in October 1954. "These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions", officials said.
The National Hurricane Center's next update on Hurricane Florence is scheduled for 11 p.m.
Arnold also captured hurricanes Isaac and Helene lining up behind Florence in the Atlantic.
"Florence is a threat well beyond our coast", Cooper said.
Storm surge and hurricane watches may be issued Tuesday morning for portions of southeastern USA states, the NHC said.
Tropical Storm Isaac, with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour (110 kph), was expected to grow into a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday night but weaken again as it approached the Eastern Caribbean by mid-week, on a track taking it well south of Puerto Rico, the NHC said.
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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The hurricane's impacts could range from a strong storm surge to flooding from torrential rainfall and hurricane-force winds.
The island state is still recovering from Hurricane Lane, which brought flooding rains to many areas last month. The latest update shows Florence as a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour .
This is a life-threatening situation for those along the North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia coastlines. As of 11 a.m., Florence was centered about 580 miles south-southeast of Bermuda, moving west at 13 mph.
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Flight tracking site FlightAware.com had seen few storm-related cancellations as of Tuesday, according to spokeswoman Sara Orsi. Hurricanes need the warm waters of the ocean to survive, and as soon as they go over land, they lose that sustaining energy.
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