Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Florence Expected To Be Cat 4 Hurricane As It Nears Eastern Seaboard

Florence Expected To Be Cat 4 Hurricane As It Nears Eastern Seaboard

They warned that Florence could slow or stall after coming ashore, with some forecasting models showing it could unload a foot or two of rain in places, causing devastating inland flooding.

"Satellite data indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 115 miles per hour (185 km/h) with higher gusts".

But the gravest threat to the US remains Hurricane Florence, which is expected to strengthen to a major hurricane by Monday night and remain "an extremely risky major hurricane" through Thursday, according to the Hurricane Center. The evacuation zone includes the most flood-prone coastal areas, Northam said.

Officials along North Carolina's coast are issuing a mandatory evacuation order for all visitors and residents on Hatteras Island as Hurricane Florence moves closer to the East Coast.

As for the tri-state, it is still too early to report if the area will experience major effects or flooding from the hurricane, as its path after Thursday remains unclear.

The National Weather Service reported Sunday that more than 20 people had to be pulled from the ocean off Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach, said the Wilmington Star.

"Florence is rapidly strengthening this morning", the National Hurricane Center advisory said.

A third storm, Hurricane Helene, was spinning in the Atlantic off West Africa's Cabo Verde Islands with 75-mph (121-kph) winds on Sunday, but did not appear to pose an immediate threat to land.

The storm is also expected to grow in size as it crosses warm ocean waters and faces little wind shear, on course for a USA landfall between SC and the mid Atlantic by late Wednesday or early Thursday. A "Hurricane Hunter" aircraft recorded maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour.

Florence had been the first category 4 hurricane of the Atlantic season, but weakened as it passed through cooler waters.

"There is an increasing risk of life-threatening impacts from Florence: storm surge at the coast, freshwater flooding from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event inland, and damaging hurricane-force winds", the hurricane center said.

Hurricane-force winds could buffet the Carolinas by Wednesday night with landfall likely in SC and North Carolina on Thursday, followed by heavy rains that could cause flooding in much of the U.S. Southeast, the NHC said.

Large swells generated by Florence are already affecting Bermuda and portions of the East Coast and will continue this week.

The hurricane center warned that the swells are likely to cause "life-threatening" surf and current conditions.

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. All three states have declared states of emergency.

"It is against the law to charge an excessive price during a state of emergency".

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster estimated about 1 million residents were under orders to evacuate the coast of his state.

Cooper told residents on Monday to get ready to be without power for an extended period.

It's far too early to speculate about potential industry losses for the insurance, reinsurance and ILS sector at this time, but by late Sunday or Monday a clearer picture of the eventual track hurricane Florence will take should have emerged.

Earlier, Cooper waived certain transportation restrictions so that farmers could harvest and move crops more quickly.

Across the Southeast, people were urged to put together emergency supply kits, prepare their homes and research evacuation routes.

Florence could nearly double that price tag with total losses reaching $27 billion, said Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler with Enki Research in Savannah, Georgia. You can find an article on how to prepare on the WHSV home page.

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