Florence regains hurricane strength as it aims towards the Carolinas

Audrey Hill
September 10, 2018

Florence was forecast to become a Category 3 hurricane by Monday with sustained winds of more than 110 miles per hour.

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

The state of SC also declared a state of emergency on Saturday.

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

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

Helene, now classified as a tropical storm, is, according to the latest NHS advisory, expected to become a hurricane soon as well.

The storm's center was 750 miles (1,200 km) southeast of Bermuda at 11 a.m. EDT on Sunday.

SC emergency management officials said they were "preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster".

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Residents of the entire Atlantic Coast, from New England to Florida, are being urged to monitor Florence and make preparations.

The three systems - Florence, Isaac and Helene - come right before the Atlantic hurricane season hits its peak Monday.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement Sunday that coastal and inland residents alike need to get ready for potentially heavy rainfall and flooding from the storm.

"This storm is too powerful and its path is too uncertain to take any chances", he said. Strengthening into a tropical storm is forecast this weekend and possibly a hurricane early next week as it approaches the Lesser Antilles. It's too soon to determine if Florence will hit land, where it might hit and what the magnitude of the winds might be.

The storm's sustained winds reached 121 km/h, just over the threshold for a hurricane, on Sunday morning as it was moving across the Atlantic, about 1,210 km/h southeast of Bermuda.

The swells are set to cause life-threatening surf and currents, so people are being warned to listen out for local weather updates. Florence is forecast to intensify further as it moves over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream through Wednesday.

The coast can expect tropical storm-force winds as early as Wednesday night and likely Thursday morning, with the highest probability of winds in the Carolinas.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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