Florence grows into major hurricane as it approaches East Coast

Posted September 11, 2018

- Florence is now a hurricane and forecasters say it could hit the U.S. East Coast as a powerful hurricane next week.

If or when hurricane Florence does make it to the US coastline it could do so as a major hurricane, as intensity forecasts show Florence reaching a higher storm category again.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour and was moving west-northwest at about 9 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said.

Forecasters said it was too soon to determine the exact timing, location and magnitude of storm surges and flooding Florence will cause.

Hurricane Florence is expected to grow into an "extremely dangerous" hurricane by Monday as it approaches the US East Coast, the National Hurricane Center said, urging residents to make preparations.

Mike Sprayberry, director of the state Division of Emergency Management, said the storm could have statewide impacts, from storm surge and high winds along the coast to flooding inland.

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Roy Cooper said he had asked President Trump for a federal disaster declaration ahead of the storm. "Pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit SC".

"The earliest reasonable time that tropical-storm-force winds will reach the coast of the Carolinas is Wednesday night, but the most likely time is Thursday morning", the center shared.

If you live along the USA coast from the Southeast to the Mid-Atlantic, you need to prepare for what increasingly looks like a worst case scenario: landfall of a Category 3 or even 4 hurricane.

A "major" hurricane is one with sustained winds of more than 110 miles per hour.

As of noon ET Monday, Florence was moving at 13 mph, some 575 miles south-southeast of Bermuda the hurricane center said.

The NHC also was tracking two other hurricanes farther out in the Atlantic.

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The National Weather Service in North Little Rock said rainfall would likely approach southeast Arkansas on Wednesday. A stray seagull fought the wind gusts and appeared to be floating in space over the volleyball nets.

The National Hurricane Center's next update on Hurricane Florence won't be posted until 5 p.m., but the National Weather Services's Wilmington office is reminding people to stay cautious at local beaches.

Hurricane Florence rapidly strengthened into a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm on Monday as it closed in on North and SC.

As of 11 a.m. Monday, hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 30 miles from the center of the storm and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.

No coastal watches or warnings were in effect as of Monday morning.

The storm won't be a threat to oil production but it could damage the east coast.

The NHC added that Florence, which reached major hurricane status several days ago but weakened into a tropical storm, now has an eye.

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