Florence Forecast to Hit East Coast Hard

Jan Cross
September 11, 2018

All three states have declared states of emergency.

In the Pacific, Tropical Storm Olivia is set to sweep through the Hawaiian islands Tuesday, where tropical storm watches have been posted.

There are now no US alerts for Hurricane Florence, although that is expected to change this week as Florence moves closer to land.

The governors of Virginia, Maryland, and North and SC have declared states of emergency ahead of the storm. North Carolina ordered residents to evacuate the state's Outer Banks barrier islands, and the governors of Virginia, North Carolina and SC declared states of emergency.

The region is also a big supplier of the nation's cotton, with North Carolina ranking ninth among states for the current 2018-19 crop year, SC 11 and Virginia 16.

Navy spokeswoman Alana Garas said the ships will disembark Monday from naval bases including the world's largest in Norfolk.

Hurricane Florence is expected to move toward the U.S. East Coast this upcoming week with the potential of life-threatening flooding and gusty winds.

A significant component in the Monday evening update was a northerly turn.

While there's been remarkable agreement with the latest forecast models on Florence's track, the "cone of uncertainty" still stretches as far south as Georgia, and as for north as Virginia. Drawing energy from the warm water, it could be a fearsome Category 4 with winds of 130 miles per hour (209 kph) or more by Tuesday, the Miami-based centre said. Rapid intensification is expected through Monday, with Florence approached Category 4 status.

The National Hurricane Center says Isaac has become the fifth hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season.

In advance of the storm, assemble your emergency kit including food, water, medications, pet supplies and important documents that you will need to take with you if asked to evacuate in short order.

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"Assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of SC", said McMaster, urging South Carolinians to prepare for the worst.

They are advising "interests along the U.S. East Coast, particularly from North Florida through North Carolina, should closely monitor the progress of Florence, ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials".

In 1989, Hurricane Hugo grew to a Category 4 storm before coming ashore near Charleston, South Carolina, where it caused about $14.1 billion in damage when adjusted for inflation, making it the 13th costliest US storm, according to Hurricane Center records.

Still, it remains unclear where Florence will make landfall, and, therefore, which areas will feel the worst impact. It poses no threat to land at the time, the center said. It projected the Outer Banks of North Carolina while other models show the storm moving more to the southwest.

Six more North Carolina counties were placed under mandatory evacuation Monday night, hours after the first order in Hatteras Island.

"This storm is too powerful and its path is too uncertain to take any chances", McMaster said. Starting then, all roads on I-26 and Route 501 will be directed away from the coast, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said.

A hurricane hunter plane found Florence strengthening quickly after it became a hurricane Sunday.

Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 miles per hour. Further west, Typhoon Mangkhut will sweep past the USA territory of Guam Monday and Tuesday.

Florence intensified into a hurricane on Sunday and was expected to strengthen rapidly into a major threat later this week as it churned across the mid-Atlantic with winds of 75 miles (120 kilometers) per hour with possible landfall on the U.S. East Coast at the end of the week.

If a major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) does make landfall along the southeast coast, the rarity of such an event is relevant.

Florence has been upgraded for the second time Monday and is now a Category 4 hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said.

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