CATEGORY 4: Hurricane Florence Rapidly Intensifies Into Major Hurricane

Carlton Robbins
September 11, 2018

Isaac is located about 1,090 miles east of the Lesser Antilles and has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, the NHC said in its latest update Monday. "On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday (Sept. 12) and Wednesday (Sept. 13), and approach the coast of North Carolina or SC on Thursday", according to the NHC.

Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 miles per hour. NASA is using its various high-flying tools to monitor the storm, taking precipitations measurements and NOAA's National Hurricane Center is using that data to forecast the storm's progress.

Mandatory evacuations have been issued for parts of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, including the entire coast of South Carolina.

"We're in for a real episode here", McMaster said at a press conference.

And with little wind shear to pull the storm apart, Florence's hurricane wind field was expected to expand over the coming days, increasing its storm surge and inland wind threats, and raising the likelihood of life-threatening freshwater flooding.

"We are not going to restrict people's movements within the county until lane reversals are necessary, if they become necessary", said Sheriff's Office spokesperson Capt.

Authorities anxious about the storm's potential to unleash prolonged torrential rains and widespread flooding across several states, especially if it lingers inland for several days.

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As of Friday afternoon, Florence continued to slowly cross the Atlantic Ocean now moving more westerly compared to northwesterly. The Emergency Measures Organisation has announced that it is prepared to meet on Monday as Tropical Storm Florence gets nearer.

Next is a different look at the hurricane's projected path. Keep in mind that this map has an interactive component that you can view here.

Handout via Getty Images Hurricane Florence is seen traveling west over the Atlantic Ocean on September 10, 2018.

If the strength continue to rise, Florence will be one of just three storms in the records to have winds of 150 miles-per-hour this far north, said Phil Klotzbach, a Colorado State University hurricane researcher.

The governors of Maryland and Virginia have also declared a state of emergency. It has strengthened to a Category 4 a day earlier than predicted.

Food, bottled water, flashlight batteries and plywood flew off the shelves at stores throughout the mid-Atlantic, and in coastal Charleston, SC, city officials were handing out sandbags to residents.

The US Navy said it was sending almost 30 ships from coastal Virginia out of port to ride out the storm. It could hang over the area with a prolonged rain. When storms of that magnitude hit the lower 48 states, they usually travel through the warmer waters of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico and rarely make landfall so far north up the eastern Atlantic coast.

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