Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

‘Extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Florence expected to hit East Coast later this week

‘Extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Florence expected to hit East Coast later this week

Hurricane Florence strengthened "rapidly" on Monday, September 10, and is now a powerful Category 4 hurricane, U.S. forecasters said, as governors of 3 eastern USA states declared an emergency and told residents to prepare for the storm. Forecasters said Florence was expected to become an extremely risky major hurricane sometime Monday and remain that way for days.

All eyes are on Hurricane Florence and its path toward the Carolinas, but several other hurricanes are brewing as well.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster also suspended his campaign and asked President Donald Trump for a federal emergency declaration.

It had maximum winds of 85mph with higher gusts, with tropical storm force winds extending up to 125 miles from the storms centre.

Lining up behind Florence, Isaac was about 1,150 miles (1,855 kilometres) east of the Windward Islands with top winds of 75 mph (120 kph) early Monday, moving west at 14 mph (22 kph).

The storm was producing large swells expected to reach from the northern Caribbean to the southern coasts of Canada's Maritime provinces.

This storm is lined up behind Florence in the Atlantic. It is now entering a warmer zone that could lead it to gather strength, meteorologists said.

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The South Carolina Governor has ordered a mandatory evacuation on Monday of up to one million residents of the USA state's eastern coast ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence. At around 12 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) announced that Hurricane Florence had strengthened to a Category 4 storm.

The US government has been criticized for its response to Maria in Puerto Rico, a US commonwealth in the Caribbean.

A Life-threatening storm surge is becoming more likely along the coastline of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, and a Storm Surge Watch will likely be issued for portions of these areas by Tuesday morning.

Cooper's office says state agencies are coordinating resources and reviewing emergency response plans to be ready for the worst case scenario. "Take every available precaution". To the east, Hurricanes Isaac and Helene (far right) are seen in the Atlantic Ocean.

In Guam, Typhoon Mangkhut - a Category 4 storm - narrowly missed dealing a direct blow to the island. "It's too early to tell what impacts Florence may have on North Carolina, but it's not too early to prepare for this storm". Two other storms also are churning in the Atlantic. More evacuation orders are likely to come.

Storms increase in frequency and intensity by mid-August and into September as temperatures in the Atlantic climb to their highest levels, Javaheri said.

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