South Carolina’s northern coast and North Carolina’s Outer Banks are expected to take the most direct hit if the hurricane keeps to the current forecast, according to news outlets.
Over the weekend, the governors of Virginia, North Carolina and SC declared states of emergency, according to CNN.
Florence is expected to be an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday night.
Florence is “quickly becoming a powerful hurricane” the NHC says and predicts it will be a Category 4 storm by tomorrow.
“Right now it’s 625 miles South of Bermuda, with 105 mph winds”. So it may shift over the coming days, but if predictions hold, Florence is set to be the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in North Carolina since Hurricane Hugo tore through the state in 1989.
By noon Monday, Florence was centered about 1,230 miles (1,985 kilometers) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west at 13 mph (20 kph). “With Florence strengthening into a hurricane this morning and continuing to move west, Florida families need to remain alert and remember that storms like this can change course and strengthen at any moment”, said Gov. Rick Scott. Risky winds could down trees & cause power outages …
The US military said it was sending an advanced team to Raleigh, North Carolina, to coordinate with federal and state partners and that about 750 military personnel will be set aside to provide support. Tropical storm force winds could be felt in Charlotte from this system.
Florence has become even stronger over the Atlantic Ocean. “Theses swells will result in life-threatening surf and rip currents”. “Florence could dump a foot of rain in places that cannot handle it, making for a very scary flooding situation in some areas”.
The European model paints the most aggressive forecast for central Georgia and shows wind gusts between 30 and 40 miles per hour for Sunday as the remnants of Florence drift to the south over SC.
Still closer to Africa than North America, Hurricane Helene is predicted to head northeast in the Atlantic, then veer toward Europe, the center said. “Storm Surge and Hurricane watches could be issued for portions of these areas by Tuesday (Sept. 11) morning”, said the NHC in the update.
“The most likely scenario is that it hits the North Carolina coast”, meteorologist Dale Eck said in an interview. Virginia, North Carolina, and SC have all declared states of emergency. Gusty winds and heavy rainfall were expected this weekend for the island nation.
At this height of the Atlantic hurricane season, Florence was being trailed on east-to-west paths by two other hurricanes, Helene and Isaac.
The US Navy added that it was sending almost 30 ships from Virginia to sea in order to avoid damage.