11 September, 2018
Florence is now one of three hurricanes spinning in the Atlantic Ocean, along with Helene and Isaac.
As data on the storm grows more and more ominous-it will likely be a Category 4 hurricane at least and at this point seems unlikely to blow out to sea-mandatory evacuation orders have already been issued, and Virginia, North Carolina, and SC have preemptively declared states of emergency, ahead of an anticipated landfall that won't occur until roughly Thursday night.
Florence is now a major Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour.
The National Hurricane Center predicts Florence will reach Category 4 or 5 status, and states of emergency have already been declared in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Either way, significant impacts are likely from Florence along the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic coast beginning Thursday and continuing next weekend. McMaster on Sunday predicted Florence will likely deliver "a strong hit on SC", though he cautioned that it's still uncertain how bad the Palmetto State will be affected. This has every chance of being a historic landfalling hurricane for the North Carolina coastline should the track remain unchanged. He also provided helpful pre- and post-storm tips to keep in mind to help keep you and your family safe.
There is a large spread in the model guidance later this week so there is not high confidence in this forecast. The Navy planned to send ships from the Hampton Roads area of Virginia out to sea.
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These swells, already affecting Bermuda, "are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions", the NHC warned. Residents should continue preparing for the likelihood of direct impacts from the storm, which could include intense flooding, rainfall, damaging winds, large and unsafe surf and storm surge.
In anticipation of the damage, North Carolina has activated 200 of its Guardsmen, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said Monday. The University of North Carolina Wilmington announced it has canceled classes and issued a voluntary evacuation for students starting at noon today.
Preparations intensified up and down the densely populated coast.
Florence is a major threat to lives, homes, agriculture and the waning tourist season.
Helene - 305 miles west of the Cape Verde islands off the African coast - had winds up to 85 miles per hour, and was expected to continue moving west-northwest for another couple of days, the NHC said in its 0900 GMT bulletin.
Isaac is a small hurricane and its strongest winds extend out from the centre for only about 10 miles.