TROPICS: Florence expected to produce damaging winds in Carolinas

Clark Diaz
September 11, 2018

Hurricane Florence rapidly strengthened into a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm on Monday as it closed in on North and SC.

Both Tropical Storm Isaac and Tropical Storm Helene are expected to reach hurricane strength but neither is considered a threat to Bermuda.

There's a lot of time for the storm to intensify, change path or die down, though.

Where is the hurricane now?

The eye of the storm is about 575 miles southeast of Bermuda and 1,230 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, N.C. It's moving west at 13 mph, the NHC said.

According the US-based National Hurricane Centre at 1pm, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 130mph.

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Risky swells generated by Florence were expected to batter Bermuda early in the week, as well as parts of the U.S. The National Hurricane Center said Florence's maximum sustained winds on Friday night were estimated to be 60mph.

Hurricane Florence is now forecast to make landfall as a major hurricane near the North Carolina-South Carolina border area between Charleston and Cape Hatteras, N.C., late Thursday.

The NHC issued a warning Monday morning, explaining when powerful gusts may approach.

As of 11 a.m. Monday, hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 30 miles from the center of the storm and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.

What else should I know?

At a news conference on Sunday, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster warned of a "likely strong hit" on the state and urged residents to begin making preparations now.

The coasts of SC and North Carolina have only been hit by about a dozen Category 3 storms since 1850. All three states have declared states of emergency.

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"We are just going to do everything we can here to get everything secure as possible and then give the rest to God and see what happens", one resident said.

Cities in Florence's impact zone that may see winds in excess of 100 miles per hour as of Monday morning.

As coastal communities up and down the East Coast prepare for the worst this weekend from Hurricane Florence, Massachusetts need not join them in filling up sandbags and stocking up on bottled water. Other areas along the East coast will likely be affected by winds and flooding.

Interests from SC through coastal Virginia should continue to pay close attention to future forecasts.

North Carolina crews were getting bulldozers and chain saws ready.

Florence's max sustained winds have been clocked at 130 miles per hour with an further increase expected on Monday. Florence is predicted to bring "life-threatening impacts" to North Carolina and neighboring states late this week.

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