Florence regains hurricane strength, on track to hit U.S. East Coast

Olive Hawkins
September 11, 2018

The center also said that Hurricane Isaac has become the 5th named hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season.

AccuWeather meteorologist Brett Rossi said the ground in North and SC and Virginia is already saturated from recent rains. A watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area.

Tropical-storm-force winds could reach the coastline as early as Wednesday night, at which point all outdoor preparations should be completed.

Hurricane Florence is maintaining its Category 4 strength with 140 miles per hour winds as it nears the S.

It warned the storm would be "an extremely unsafe major hurricane" by the time it made landfall, forecast in the Carolinas on Thursday.

The governors of Virginia, North Carolina and SC all declared states of emergency.

Forecasters say the hurricane's strength is expected to fluctuate but it still will be a unsafe storm by the time it reaches the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday.

A significant component in the Monday evening update was a northerly turn. That means sustained winds of at least 130 miles per hour and expectations of catastrophic damage, the hurricane center says.

Florence had some rapid intensification throughout Monday as it continues to move on warm waters.

The hurricane is expected to remain a powerful storm for the next few days, and it has the potential to become a Category 5 Hurricane, according to Walsh.

Florence, the first major hurricane to threaten the eastern United States this year, was forecast to hit the coast of North Carolina or SC on Thursday.

"Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda and portions of the U.S. East Coast", the it added.

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The storm will bring with it large swells and life-threatening rip currents.

Still, it remains unclear where Florence will make landfall, and, therefore, which areas will feel the worst impact.

"I'm telling them to go inland, but I'm anxious about the rain and tornadoes too", Roberts said. "Well away from the coast - central portions of Virginia and central portions of North Carolina - you could be hundreds of miles away, several hundreds of miles in some cases away from the center, and you could still get those unsafe rains that are going to cause the flash flooding".

A mandatory evacuation order was issued for North Carolina's Hatteras Island starting at noon Monday, Dare County Emergency Management. said. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster also suspended his campaign and asked President Donald Trump for a federal emergency declaration.

It regained hurricane strength Sunday and was upgraded again Monday.

Florence is moving west at under 10 miles per hour.

Florence is officially a hurricane churning off the Eastern U.S. and the latest tracks have shifted to a bit north, but South Carolinians should continue to prepare for a major storm headed toward our shores, state officials said Sunday. The hurricane could make landfall possibly as a Category 3 or higher on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale. It's now about 575 miles southeast of Bermuda, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an 12 p.m.

Florence was about 580 miles southeast of Bermuda as of 11 a.m. ET Monday. A westward motion with a slight increase in forward speed is expected through the end of the week. Major hurricanes have winds of at least 111 miles per hour (179 kph).

Exactly where Florence will track is largely depended on an area of high pressure that is expected to expand north of the system. Weakening is forecast to begin by the middle of the week.

Graham urged coastal residents to finish their planning before the arrival of tropical-storm-force windows on Wednesday.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 997 mb (29.44 inches). Smithfield Foods Inc., the No. 1 hog producer, and chicken producer Sanderson Farms Inc. saw their North Carolina operations disrupted in 2016 due to flooding from Hurricane Matthew. It is now 1,305 miles east of the Windward Islands, which are in the West Indies, and moving westward at 14 mph. Auto rental and hotel companies saw an influx of customers, while freight companies commanded higher prices as capacity tightened due to increased demand for supplies in areas struck by hurricanes.

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