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

Tropical storm Florence likely to become a hurricane, forecasters say

Tropical storm Florence likely to become a hurricane, forecasters say

As a rapidly strengthening Hurricane Florence aims at Southeast coast, behind it Hurricane Helene, Tropical Storm Isaac and one other potential tropical storm are all brewing. And it would be the first major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) to hit the East Coast since Jeanne, which struck Florida in 2004.

North Carolina officials started getting bulldozers and chain saws ready. ET, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in an advisory. Florence was a Category 4 storm late afternoon Monday. On North Carolina's Outer Banks, the town of Nags Head posted no-swimming flags on beaches.

At 1500 GMT, Isaac, which the NHC called a small hurricane, was about 1,150 miles (1,855 kms) east of the Windward Islands - a region still recovering from last year's powerful Hurricane Maria - with maximum sustained winds near 75 mph (120 kph).

Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Saturday as communities up and down the East Coast monitor Tropical Storm Florence.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said he had asked President Donald Trump for a federal disaster declaration ahead of the storm.

Helene featured winds near 75 miles per hour was moving west.

Two more storms named Helene and Isaac are following behind Florence, according to Fox, but are expected to be less threatening.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, about 20 miles (32 kilometres) from the coast, some residents picked up hurricane supplies during their normal weekend shopping, The Daily News reported.

South Carolina Coast Ordered To Evacuate Ahead Of Hurricane Florence
Forecasters also warned of a rising threat of life-threatening storm surge, along with the damaging winds. ET advisory that Florence was about 625 miles southeast of Bermuda, moving west northwest at 9 mph.

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 USA storm, according to Hurricane Center records. Those on the coast and inland from SC into the mid-Atlantic region should be on alert and have a hurricane plan in place, according to the agency. SC emergency management officials said they were "preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster".

"If you see a business taking advantage of this storm, please let my office know so we can hold them accountable", Stein said.

In coastal Charleston, South Carolina, city officials offered sandbags to residents.

The National Weather Center has also warned of unsafe rip currents in popular tourist areas like Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks.

In South Carolina, McMaster ordered the state's entire coastline evacuated starting at noon Tuesday.

The Navy said all ships in Virginia's coastal Hampton Roads area were preparing to leave port for open seas.

A third storm, Helene, off the Cabo Verde Islands was expected to become a hurricane later on Sunday.

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