Friday, 21 September, 2018

Florence upgraded to hurricane, heads toward East Coast

Tropical Storm Florence is expected to restrengthen into a major hurricane before threatening US Tropical Storm Florence is expected to restrengthen into a major hurricane before threatening US
Gerardo Duncan | 10 September, 2018, 12:08

The governors of North and SC and Virginia declared states of emergency to give them time to prepare, and the Navy said ships in Virginia's Hampton Roads area would leave port for their own safety.

"We learned about flood modeling and we were able to compare different flood scenarios with the different paths [the storm] might take, so we can predict where flooding might occur and we can deploy our resources", he said.

"All indications are that Florence will be an extremely unsafe Category 4 hurricane while it moves over the western Atlantic toward the southeastern United States", the hurricane center said.

Florence crossed the 74 miles per hour threshold from tropical storm to a hurricane Sunday morning, and by evening its winds were up to 85 miles per hour (140 kph) as the National Hurricane Center warned a hurricane hunter plane found the storm strengthening quickly.

Tropical Storm Florence was upgraded to a hurricane on Sunday morning, and so far the storm is sticking to a path forecasters once considered a worst-case scenario.

Cooper said the decision to put evacuation orders in place will be left up to local officials, who best know their communities and residents, but predicted that evacuation orders will likely be issued along the coast in the coming days.

"The South Carolina Emergency Management Division tweeted Sunday that officials there are "preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster".

"Make your plans now", South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster urged residents during a news conference on Sunday.

North Carolina officials started getting bulldozers and chain saws ready. It says the hurricane should approach the USA coast on Thursday.

As Hurricane Florence heads toward the East Coast, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington is encouraging its students to leave campus this week for a safer location.

Twelve water rescues were made Saturday and another 15 were necessary at Wrightsville Beach on Sunday as a result of rip currents caused by Florence.

Red flags flying on beaches warned swimmers to stay out of waters as seas began kicking up.

The 2018 hurricane season has been quiet up to this point, but now there are two more systems developing behind Florence.

"I got a lot of canned vegetables, some that you don't have to cook on the stove, and I got a lot of water and a lot of bread", Johnson said.

Unsafe swells generated by Florence affected Bermuda and have begun to reach parts of the Eastern Seaboard.

The storm may sit over parts of the mid-Atlantic for days, like Harvey did in Texas a year ago, bringing major flooding to an area that has already seen above-average rainfall in recent months.

A tropical storm warning and hurricane watch are in effect for the Cabo Verde islands of Santiago, Fogo, and Brava.

Tropical Storm Helene is also Cat. 1.

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