Now is the time to prepare for Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence approaches east US, set to become ‘extremely dangerous’ storm

Tropical-storm-force winds are expected to start to reach the coast of the Carolinas on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said.

North Carolina's governor says consistency of the Hurricane Florence's forecast track toward the Carolinas has helped the state understand the threat early on and given it time to get ready.

Maximum sustained winds were nearly 85 miles per hour Monday morning, the hurricane center said.

Hurricane Florence continues to grow in size and magnitude as it barrels toward the U.S. East Coast.

"This could be the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in the Carolinas since Hugo", Quagliariello said, referring to the Category 5 hurricane that caused widespread damage in the Caribbean and Southeast U.S.in 1989.

Handout via Getty Images Hurricane Florence is seen traveling west over the Atlantic Ocean on September 10, 2018. Since reliable record-keeping began more than 150 years ago, North Carolina has only been hit by one Category 4 hurricane: Hazel, with 210 km/h winds in 1954.

It was centered about 1,230 miles (1,985 kilometers) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west at 13 mph (20 kph). The center warns that such storms will snap or uproot most trees and down power poles and that power can be out in some areas for weeks or months.

Cooper's emergency declaration makes it possible to waive the state's transportation rules so North Carolina farmers can harvest and transport their crops to market faster.

"We do not know what the chances are that it will hit us or if so, what kind of blow or where and we don't know precisely when", said South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster".




Storm-force winds could begin buffeting the Carolina coast by Wednesday night, NHC forecasts showed.

The governors of North and SC and Virginia have already declared states of emergency, but winds and flooding caused by Florence could do serious damage even if it remains offshore.

South Carolina Emergency Management will open their emergency shelters on Tuesday based on need.

"We expect a rapid intensification of Florence tomorrow", Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, said on Sunday.

As of early Monday, the storm was getting stronger, with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour.

The Navy planned to send ships from the Hampton Roads area of Virginia out to sea.

Still closer to Africa than North America, Hurricane Helene is predicted to head northeast in the Atlantic, then veer toward Europe, the center said.

Heavy rain in the Washington area over the weekend has already led to flooding in historic Alexandria, Virginia, local media reported, and the National Weather Service issued a flood watch for part of the Potomac River.

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