Florence roars back to hurricane status

Olive Hawkins
September 11, 2018

"When you stall a system like this and it moves real slow, some of that rainfall can extend well away from the center".

The Miami-based center said that it was still too early to predict the hurricane's exact path but that a huge coastal area from SC to the mid-Atlantic region should prepare for a major strike late in the week.

"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 in a statement on Sunday.

Florence could bring a deadly coastal storm surge, and inland flooding as far north as Virginia, the NHC said.

By early next week, the storm will develop into a major hurricane.

Hurricanes impacting the Carolinas isn't rare, but it has been some time since a major hurricane has made landfall in North Carolina. Florence has maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour, though that number is likely to increase as the storm strengthens.

The governors of SC and Virginia also declared states of emergency far ahead of the approaching storm.

"Pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of South Carolina and is going to go way inshore", South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said.

The storm has sustained winds of 75 miles per hour.

Further to the east, forecasters are also watching hurricanes Isaac and Helene.

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He said the storm surge could reach as high as 10ft (3m) and estimated that one million residents would be leaving the coast. Cooper and his counterparts in South Carolina , Virginia and Maryland all declared states of emergency .

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By comparison, Hurricane Matthew was a weak Category 1 storm when it hit Columbus County in 2016.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division tweeted Sunday that officials there are "preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster".

Swells generated by Florence could cause unsafe rip currents and coastal flooding Saturday in areas including coastal DE and New Jersey, the National Weather Service said.

Isaac, previously a tropical storm, strengthened into the fifth hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season on Sunday, the NHC said.

Forecasters urged residents from SC to the mid-Atlantic to get ready - and not just for a possible direct blow against the coast.

In Charleston, South Carolina, along the coast, city officials offered sandbags to residents.

He estimated about 1 million residents would flee the coast of his state, following earlier orders for the evacuation of more than 50,000 people from the southern-most Outer Banks barrier islands of North Carolina.

The school said it has cancelled all university-sponsored events including athletics and Alumni Weekend, which would have started Friday. Florida-based Carnival Cruise Line re-routed its cruise ships.

To become a hurricane, a storm must reach sustained winds of 74 miles per hour.

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