'In the bull's-eye:' North Carolina orders evacuations as storm nears

TROPICS: Florence to become a hurricane today; TD 9 strengthening

The immediate threat this weekend will be large swells and risky rip currents along the East Coast due to the storm.

A third storm, Tropical Depression Nine, is moving west-northwest at 5 miles per hour in the eastern Atlantic.

The governors of Virginia, Maryland, and North and SC have declared states of emergency ahead of the storm.

A "major" hurricane is one with sustained winds of more than 110 miles per hour. "Thus, the intensity forecast is raised from the previous one, bringing Florence close to Category 5 strength tomorrow", NHS said. The storm is expected to approach the southeast U.S. Coast on Thursday. "However, there is still very large uncertainty in model forecasts of Florence's track beyond day (five), making it too soon to determine the exact location, magnitude, and timing of these impacts", hurricane specialist Robbie Berg wrote in a forecast advisory. The storm could impact anywhere from northern Florida to north of the Washington, D.C., area, producing life-threatening conditions.

Starting then, all roads on I-26 and Route 501 will be directed away from the coast, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said.

Mandatory evacuations ordered for entire SC coastline ahead of Hurricane Florence
If Florence makes landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, it will be the strongest storm on record to come ashore in North Carolina. Florence was moving west-northwest at 13 miles per hour and had maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour .


Unsafe swells generated by Florence were expected to batter Bermuda early in the week, as well as parts of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.

Loewenthal said the waters off the North Carolina coast are in the mid-to-upper 80s, which would allow the storm to maintain its strength.

The governor urged residents to begin making their preparations as the entire SC coast remains in the cone of uncertainty.

Generators, bottled water and snacks were flying off the shelves of area retailers over the weekend as forecasts called for higher chances that Hurricane Florence could hit the area.

A tropical storm warning and hurricane watch are in effect for the Cabo Verde islands of Santiago, Fogo, and Brava. The state's emergency management agency said it is "preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster".

East Coast Prepares for Storm Surge as Hurricane Florence Gains Strength
At 5 a, m., the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located near latitude 14.6 North, longitude 48.1 West. A Category 3 hurricane packs winds of between 111 and 129 miles per hour , the hurricane center said.


The U.S. East Coast could be hit with a powerful hurricane next week as Tropical Storm Florence continues to strengthen as it moves toward the mainland, forecasters said Saturday.

Tropical Depression Nine this afternoon churned into Tropical Storm Isaac about 1,640 miles or 2,640 kilometres east of the Windward Islands.

"The bottom line is that there is increasing confidence that Florence will be a large and extremely unsafe hurricane, regardless of its exact intensity", the NHC forecast warned. NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center/Handout via REUTERSA photo taken from the International Space Station by astronaut Ricky Arnold shows Hurricane Florence over the Atlantic Ocean in the early morning hours of September 6, 2018.

Further to the east, forecasters are also watching hurricanes Isaac and Helene. Its winds weakened Thursday when it returned to tropical storm status. It's expected to move into the eastern Caribbean Sea Wednesday night or Thursday. Helene is still a Tropical Storm.

Hurricane Florence Could Be East Coast's Strongest Storm In Decades
Florence could bring a life-threatening coastal storm surge, and inland flooding as far north as Virginia , the NHC said. Hurricane Florence is gaining speed in the Atlantic Ocean and expected to become a major hurricane soon.


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