US President Donald Trump, whose administration faced severe criticism for a slow response in Puerto Rico to Hurricane Maria, canceled a political rally planned for Friday in Jackson, Mississippi, over safety concerns related to Florence, his campaign said.
Hurricane Florence will make its way westward, likely toward the Carolinas later this week while Hurricane Isaac moves westward toward the Caribbean.
Meanwhile, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is now in “Tropical Cyclone Condition V”, according to its Facebook page.
Over the weekend, the governors of Virginia, North Carolina and SC declared states of emergency, according to CNN.
South Carolina’s price-gouging law is now in effect, as the state is on guard for anyone who may try to take advantage of the preparations for Hurricane Florence.
He added: “Florence will be a Category 5 hurricane soon”.
The storm was moving toward the west-northwest at about 9 miles per hour and was about 625 miles (1,005 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda.
The hurricane, which strengthened to a Category 4 on Monday, is expected to intensify as it approaches the Carolinas, said John Quagliariello with the National Weather Service.
Meteorologist Eric Holthaus had a three-letter reaction to the news that Hurricane Florence is now a category 4 storm with 115mph winds and higher gusts. “But on rare occasions, the steering patterns can line up such that a storm slips into a dead zone between troughs and ridges”.
By noon EDT on Monday, Florence had top sustained winds of 130 miles per hour.
As with Lejeune, Fort Bragg, North Carolina officials are taking a more low-key approach to Florence, warning personnel on Facebook that “now is the time to get prepared”. Large swells could be generated and cause damage in some parts of the state, which survived brushes with hurricanes Hector and Lane in recent weeks. Forecasters also warned of a rising threat of life-threatening storm surge, along with the damaging winds.
Hurricanes need warm ocean water to form, so hurricane season comes when the Atlantic Ocean is at its warmest.
Winds are now 105 miles per hour. Of the two other storms, which remain far from land, Isaac poses the most immediate risk.
Olivia could weaken into a strong tropical storm within 48 hours, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu.
Experts have forecast the upgraded tropical storm will gather force – going from a category 1 hurricane to a category 3 on Monday morning.
“I’m telling them to go inland, but I’m anxious about the rain and tornadoes too”, Roberts said.
Florence stands a significant chance of joining 2017’s Harvey and Irma as just the third storm to make landfall on the USA mainland at category 4 strength (or higher) since 2005.