Hurricane Florence Now Cat 3 Storm, Carolinas Bracing For The Worst

SC
Hurricane Florence South Carolina Still In Danger Zone
System stalks east coast

SC Hurricane Florence South Carolina Still In Danger Zone System stalks east coast

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center have said Florence is expected to be an extremely risky storm by the time it nears the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday.

Florence has been upgraded for the second time Monday and is now a Category 4 hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said.

'There is an increasing risk of two life-threatening impacts from Florence: storm surge at the coast and freshwater flooding from a prolonged heavy rainfall event inland, ' the National Hurricane Center said at 11am.

The other storms — Tropical Storm Isaac and Tropical Storm Helene — are both expected to become hurricanes Sunday or Monday.

Florence may make landfall anywhere from New England to the Carolinas as soon as Thursday as a Category 3 or higher hurricane.

The center of Florence was forecast to sweep between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday before making its assault on the US coast.

U.S. President Donald Trump, whose administration was criticized as being slow to respond to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico past year, canceled a political rally planned for Friday in Jackson, Mississippi, over safety concerns related to Florence, his campaign said.

As of early Monday, Isaac was about 1,230 miles east 1,305 miles (1,985 km) east of the Windward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph), the NHC said. "Presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of SC".

A third storm, Helene, off the Cabo Verde Islands was expected to become a hurricane later on Sunday. It warned people at the coast and inland from SC to the mid-Atlantic region to monitor the storm's progress closely and ensure they have a hurricane plan in place.

South Carolina's emergency management agency said it is "preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster". The confidence in a North Carolina landfall Thursday night is growing, but there's still room for improvement regarding model disagreement.

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Communities along a stretch of coastline that's vulnerable to rising sea levels due to climate change prepared to evacuate the storm, which forecasters expect to be close to Category 5 strength by Tuesday.

A Category 3 hurricane packs winds of between 111 and 129 miles per hour, the hurricane center said.

As of the NHC's advisory issued at 11 a.m. EST Sunday, Hurricane Florence's center will move over the Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday, and it will get to the southeastern USA coast on Thursday.

Winds in Florence are now at 90 miles per hour, making it a category 1 hurricane. "Florence could dump a foot of rain in places that cannot handle it, making for a very scary flooding situation in some areas".

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.

Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 miles per hour. "The last Atlantic hurricane to intensify as rapidly as far north as Florence's current location was Hurricane Humberto in 2007", he said.

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).

According to the National Hurricane Center, this general motion with an increase in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days.

Even in the unlikely event that the storm center remains just offshore, it will nearly certainly come close enough to bring risky wind and flooding to coastal areas.

Florencewill probably create more wind than Hurricane Hugo and more water than Hurricane Matthew, McMaster warned. Weakening is forecast to begin by the middle of the week as Isaac approaches the Lesser Antilles.

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