Published: Sun, September 09, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Gov. McMaster declares state of emergency as Florence inches closer

Gov. McMaster declares state of emergency as Florence inches closer

Tropical Storm Helene, located just off the west African coast, was christened late Friday night and may reach hurricane status shortly, which would be extremely unusual for a storm situated so far east in the Atlantic.

On Sunday morning, the storm had maximum winds of 70 miles per hour, NOAA tweeted at 8 a.m.

A number of tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean, with the potential to strengthen to hurricanes, are heading towards land. The Carolina coast needs to brace for impact Thursday and Friday.

Winds will begin hitting the Carolina coast 8 p.m. Thursday and the middle of the two states by 8 a.m. Thursday, NOAA says.

Florence's immediate threat for residents includes large ocean swells, risky rip currents and coastal flooding.

Over the last two days, model trends along the southeastern US coastline have shifted, hinting at a southwesterly track, which slowly diminishes the possibility of the storm staying offshore.

Earlier today, Gov. Cooper said state emergency management officials are working with local and federal counterparts to prepare North Carolina for possible impacts from Florence. Large swells were already expected to hit the British island territory in the north Atlantic Ocean Saturday.

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A man in his twenties was helping police with their inquiries, he said, adding there was no danger to the public. A distraught neighbour near the scene said she often saw children playing in the front yard of the house.

Tropical storm Helene is presenting the most imminent danger as it tracks towards the western coast of the African continent, around the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands.

There are a lot of factors that will affect the storm's track over the coming days, and slight shifts in any of them could have major consequences. "That could cause some very heavy rainfall, some gusty winds, and numerous power outages".

Tropical Depression Nine is expected to become a tropical storm later Saturday - and a hurricane by early next week - over the eastern tropical Atlantic.

Satellite images have shown gradual organization during the past 24 hours and the system should continue to develop through the next several days.

"The models are ... really starting to favor a landfall around the Carolinas", though states to the north should watch as well, CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar said Saturday morning.

And courtesy of, one of the best storm-tracking websites out there, here is its latest projected forecast track ... Then an nearly due west path is forecast through the rest of the weekend and through early next week.

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