Hurricane Florence on Course to the Carolinas

Hurricane Florence on Course to the Carolinas

Tuesday, Sep 11, 2018, 5:47 am- Florence continued to roll toward the U.S. East Coast, poised to become the strongest hurricane in nearly 30 years to hit the Carolinas as more than 1 million people began fleeing a coastline that could see a 12-foot storm surge.

Residents scrambled to flee en masse as the menacing Category 4 storm packing winds of 220 kilometers per hour bore down on the East Coast of the United States.

Several meteorologists said Florence could approach what Hurricane Harvey did a year ago over Texas, dumping days of rain over a wide area.

USC Athletics sends its thoughts and prayers to those preparing for the storm and hope that you will be safe and careful during this time.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's office said Florence is already being felt along the state's coast, with large sea swells resulting in life-threatening rip currents and surf.

In addition to winds, the storm is expected to slow as it moves onto the coast and could deliver 15 to 20 inches of rain, with 30 inches locally, in North Carolina, Virginia and northern SC, the NHC said. It was located father north in the Atlantic than any other storm to ever hit the Carolinas, so what we're forecasting is unprecedented.

If Florence stalls over the East Coast, it would be another example of that slowing trend.

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

In addition to Florence, the Atlantic Ocean now has two other strong storms. Forecasters said Florence could become an extremely unsafe major hurricane sometime Monday and remain that way for days.

"While it is too soon to determine the exact timing, location and magnitude of these impacts, interest at the coast and inland from SC into the mid-Atlantic region should closely monitor the progress of Florence", said a NOAA statement.

Crews from the Virginia Department of Transportation are cleaning out drainage structures in advance of the storm, the county said, and will be available around the clock in the coming days to respond to damaged roadways and downed trees.

Maximum sustained winds were clocked at 140 miles per hour (220 kph) as it moved west-northwest at 13 miles per hour (20 kph).

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Hurricane Florence underwent a rapid intensification Monday morning, strengthening to category 4 intensity with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour.

"Florence is expected to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday (Sept. 13)", said officials.

"Further strengthening is forecast tonight and Wednesday", the NHC said Tuesday.

Historically, 90 percent of fatalities from hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical depressions have been caused by water, NHC spokesman Dennis Feltgen said.

Governors in the Carolinas and Virginia already had declared emergencies, and some sought federal aid as well.

People shop at the Harris Teeter, filling up on water and supplies as Hurricane Florence becomes a threat to the coast Monday in Charleston, S.C.

Helene, which formed as a tropical storm last Friday night, is heading toward the Cabo Verde islands off the eastern coast of Africa, while Isaac is moving west toward the Caribbean, including the islands of St. Lucia, Dominica, Martinique, and Grenada.

The National Hurricane Center said Monday the monster storm will be close to Category 5 strength by Tuesday.

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warned that Florence was forecast to linger over the Carolinas once it reaches shore. Two other storms also are churning in the Atlantic.

SAFFO: Well, we just met with the governor.

At 5 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Florence was 575 miles east of Cape Fear, N.C., moving west-northwest at 17 mph.

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