Hurricane Florence: 'Extremely dangerous' storm to hit US East Coast on Thursday

Geneva Stokes
September 11, 2018

HURRICANE Florence could intensify yet again with the monster storm on the brink of a Category 5, prompting evacuations of more than one million people in the United States to higher ground. "Florence has rapidly intensified into an extremely unsafe hurricane", Blake wrote Monday evening, predicting that the hurricane's top sustained winds would approach the 157 miles per hour (253 kph) threshold for a wost-case Category 5 scenario.

But it's forecast to strengthen to near the level of a Category 5 storm - which has sustained winds of 157 miles per hour or more.

Hurricane Florence, which was briefly downgraded to a tropical storm last week, was re-upgraded to hurricane status on Sunday and looks like it is destined to barrel straight at the U.S.' East Coast.

Senators and Congressmen from Virginia urged President Trump Monday to declare a federal emergency before Hurricane Florence makes landfall later this week.

The NWS is predicting "life-threatening" storm surge and inland freshwater flooding, with some models predicting upwards of 2ft of rainfall.

Florence has grown to a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 130mph as it descends upon the southeastern seaboard of the US.

Winds of tropical storm force could reach Puerto Rico Thursday evening.

"Isaac is a small hurricane and uncertainty in the forecast is greater than normal", the National Hurricane Center reported Monday at 11 a.m.

Florence is still a Category 4 hurricane and is expected to regain its top wind strength in the next day or so.

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A hurricane watch has been issued for the East Coast from Edisto Beach, S.C., to the North Carolina-Virginia border, including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

Henry McMaster has ordered the evacuation to start at noon Tuesday as Hurricane Florence approaches.

Two tropical storms are following behind it: Isaac and Helene.

Florence appears to have weakened slightly but is expected to restrengthen later on Tuesday, the NHC said. This map does not indicate the hurricane's size, but it does show the hurricane's current projected path.

"Additional strengthening is forecast during this time, but some fluctuations in intensity are likely due to eyewall replacement cycles".

"The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline". If Florence slows to a crawl just off the coast, it could bring torrential rain to the Appalachian mountains and as far away as West Virginia, causing flash floods, mudslides and other risky conditions. The storm is expected to pass between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Florence became a hurricane Sunday with sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour.

"Let me be clear: North Carolina is taking Hurricane Florence seriously and you should too", Mr Cooper said at a news conference.

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