Published: Mon, September 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

South Carolina declares emergency ahead of storm Florence

South Carolina declares emergency ahead of storm Florence

Florence crossed the 74 miles per hour threshold from tropical storm to hurricane Sunday morning, and by evening its winds were up to 85 miles per hour (140 kph) as the National Hurricane Center warned it was expected to become an extremely unsafe major hurricane by Monday and remain that way for days.

Winds in Florence are now at 90 miles per hour, making it a category 1 hurricane.

Forecasters said it is too early to know the exact path Florence will take but warned that it could roll ashore in the Carolinas by Thursday.

Florence is expected to remain an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday.

The Miami-based center said in its 5 a.m. ET advisory that Florence was about 625 miles (1,005 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda, moving west northwest at 9 mph (15 kmh).

The U.S. Navy is making preparations this weekend for its ships in the Hampton Roads area to leave port as Tropical Storm Florence approaches the East Coast. NHC added that the risk of direct impact from the storm along the U.S. East Coast over the next week has increased, but it is too soon to determine location, magnitude and timing of the impact.

The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia have declared respective states of emergency in their states ahead of Florence's predicted landfall.

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

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The National Hurricane Center's breakdown of storm strength says Category 3 storms can bring "devastating" destruction.

The National Hurricane Center announced Sunday morning that Florence escalated into a hurricane with winds reaching 75mph as it swirls across the Atlantic.

Only ten hurricane have made landfall on the Southeast coast since 1851, and if Florence hits North Carolina as a Category 4 it will be the strongest storm to ever come ashore that far north.

The storm could hit the southeastern US coast by late this week as a Category 3 storm or higher, bringing life-threatening winds, flooding, and storm surge.

These swells, already affecting Bermuda, "are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions", the NHC warned.

The NHC now shows Isaac heading west across the tropical Atlantic between South America and the Caribbean, but a path and intensity beyond that is unknown as it moves toward the Lesser Antilles.

A third storm, Helene, off the Cabo Verde Islands was also expected to become a hurricane later on Sunday but did not appear to pose an immediate threat to land.

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