Hurricane Florence strengthening as it heads toward East Coast

Mindy Sparks
September 11, 2018

Florence, a Category 1 hurricane, continued to strengthen in the central Atlantic and was expected to become a major hurricane by Monday night, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory on Sunday.

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware Gov. John Carney says state officials are closely monitoring the approach of Hurricane Florence, which is heading toward the USA for what forecasters said could be a direct hit on the Southeast toward the end of the week. It was centered about 1,230 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west at 13 mph.

As of early Monday, Isaac was about 1,230 miles east 1,305 miles (1,985 km) east of the Windward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph), the NHC said.

Florence is one of three hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, along with Helene and Isaac.

One of the key messages from NOAA reads that life-threatening storm surge and freshwater flooding is "likely from a from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event, which may extend inland over the Carolinas and Mid Atlantic for hundreds of miles as Florence is expected to slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland". It is expected to accelerate during the next 36 hours and head into the eastern Caribbean Sea by Thursday. "People in SC in North Carolina particularly should prepare for the storm because any change in forward heading would close the window of opportunity quickly". "Florence could dump a foot of rain in places that cannot handle it, making for a very scary flooding situation in some areas".

According to AccuWeather states of emergency have been declared in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia due to possible impacts from Florence.

The hurricane center warned that the swells are likely to cause "life-threatening" surf and current conditions.

The station, the largest naval complex in the world, said in a Facebook post that much of the base is prone to heavy flooding, especially the parking lots adjacent to the waterfront. "We just happen to be right in the middle". People rushed to get emergency kits ready, map out escape routes, fill sandbags and secure their homes.

"We are preparing for the worst, and of course hoping for the best", South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said, adding that his declaration would allow state agencies to deploy assets quickly to the coast.

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

Myrtle Beach hardware stores and supermarkets were busy ringing up sales of bottled water, plywood and generators. It should accelerate over the next 36 hours, but poses no threat to land at this time. "They're coming in and buying water and plates, and that's about all they're buying".

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from the coast, some residents picked up hurricane supplies during their normal weekend shopping, The Daily News reported.

A mandatory evacuation order was issued for North Carolina's Hatteras Island starting at noon Monday, Dare County Emergency Management. said.

The first effects of what forecasters are already calling a large and extremely unsafe hurricane were already being seen on barrier islands Monday as risky rip currents and seawater flowed over the state highway.

The Navy said all ships in Virginia's coastal Hampton Roads area were preparing to leave port for open seas.

Bynum reported from Savannah, Georgia.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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