‘Big and vicious’ Hurricane Florence closes in on Carolinas

Katie Ramirez
September 12, 2018

Hurricane Florence has become a category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds at 115 miles per hour as of 11 a.m. Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center. "Further strengthening is anticipated, and Florence is expected to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday", the NHC warned.

As of 11 p.m., the National Hurricane Center said the storm was about 1,085 miles east-southeast of Bald Head Island.

The National Hurricane Center warns that Florence could soon cause a coastal surge that includes flooding before the storm is projected for US landfall (probably) on Thursday.

The National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Florence was rapidly intensifying early Monday, and was expected to become an "extremely unsafe major hurricane" through Thursday.

Hurricane Florence's offshore winds are causing swells and rip currents up and down the coast.

Forecasters also warned of a rising threat of life-threatening storm surge, along with the damaging winds.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's office described Florence as possibly the state's "most significant hurricane event in decades", warning of "catastrophic inland flooding, high winds and possible widespread power outages".

Meanwhile Helene, which is now 600 km (375 miles) away from the Cabo Verde Islands, is forecast to diverge north-west away from land by Thursday.

The clouds within the red square are the outer bands of Hurricane Helene.

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Sustained winds have reached nearly 105 miles per hour.

Helene has sustained winds of 65 miles per hour and is moving west at 13 miles per hour.

“As a public safety note, the south shore will experience unsettled surf conditions associated with Hurricane Florence, and the public is encouraged to use caution on those beaches.”. "The threat will be inland, so I'm afraid, based on my experience at FEMA, that the public is probably not as prepared as everybody would like", said Craig Fugate, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Trump has declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, and canceled campaign events Thursday and Friday in anticipation of the storm.

Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Isaac, Hurricane Helene track in Atlantic Ocean.

All eyes are on Hurricane Florence and its path toward the Carolinas, but several other hurricanes are brewing as well.

Two other storms were spinning in the Atlantic as the 2018 hurricane season reaches its peak. Forecasters say that because of the size the storm is expected to attain, it will wreak havoc regardless of how strong its winds are.

By Monday morning, it was just outside of the Category 3 storm's predicted path, known as the "cone of uncertainty".

"The chances of it going out to sea are extremely slim at this point", she said.

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