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Cesar Mills
September 12, 2018

Tropical Storm Florence was expected to strengthen back into a hurricane on Sunday, and forecasters warned that the storm could still make landfall somewhere along the United States eastern seaboard late next week.

SC declared a state of emergency on Saturday.

Florence crossed the 74 miles per hour threshold from tropical storm to hurricane Sunday morning, and by evening its winds were up to 85 miles per hour (140 kph) as the National Hurricane Center warned it was expected to become an extremely risky major hurricane by Monday and remain that way for days.

Meanwhile, over the Pacific Ocean, Hurricane Olivia is approaching Hawaii with maximum winds of 85 miles per hour.

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The eye of the storm is expected to fall on Wilmington, North Carolina.

So, for USA interests, anywhere from the Carolinas to New England, will have to pay attention to Florence. "We are taking Hurricane Florence seriously". The first shows the probabilities of more than a tenth of an inch of precipitation through early next Sunday.

"Traffic was backed up for about 9 miles (14 km) in places", said Paul Jones, a retiree who owns a home on the island.

Trump tweeted Monday afternoon that the federal government was monitoring the storm and was ready to help.

The storm's sustained winds reached 75 mph (121 kph), just over the threshold for a hurricane, on Sunday morning as it was swirling across the Atlantic, about 750 miles (1,210 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda. Mandatory evacuation orders also were issued for more than 50,000 people from Hatteras and Ocracoke, the southernmost of North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier islands.

McMaster said SC residents should hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

State government offices, including schools and medical facilities, will be closed in 26 counties, McMaster said.

Concerns about the monster storm extended even into Virginia. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas.

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The hurricane center's description of a Category 4 hurricane begins with "catastrophic damage will occur".

Tropical Storm Florence is a "potential threat to Bermuda", the Bermuda Weather Service said, with its closest point of approach to Bermuda within 72 hrs forecast to be 363 nm to the south at 6am on Tuesday [Sept 11] with the BWS noting that "this system may move closer to Bermuda after this time period".

Hurricane Florence has rapidly strengthened to become a major storm, and the hurricane center says more intensification is anticipated.

If a major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) does make landfall along the southeast coast, the rarity of such an event is relevant.

Florence could cause risky surf and rip currents along parts of the U.S. East Coast this weekend as the storm swirls across the Atlantic, according to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center.

Loewenthal said the area should prepare to see impacts, including rough surf and unsafe rip currents, as early as Sunday.

Florence is already causing rough surf and rip currents along the North Carolina coast, and, according to Moss, parts of the Carolina coast could begin feeling significant impacts from the storm as early as Wednesday night. Forecast models suggest that more than two feet of rain could fall over the higher elevations of the Carolinas and Virginia, which would generate unsafe flooding downstream.

The National Weather Center warned of risky rip currents in popular tourist areas like Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks.

Parts of the Mid-Atlantic, especially from Virginia to Pennsylvania, have received 150 to 300 percent of their normal rainfall since May.

The U.S. Navy said it was sending almost 30 ships from coastal Virginia out of port to ride out the storm.

Virginia joined North and SC in declaring a state of emergency ahead of the storm, which is expected to be a major hurricane.

Storms increase in frequency and intensity by mid-August and into September as temperatures in the Atlantic climb to their highest levels, Javaheri said.

Other reports by GizPress

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