Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Intensifying Hurricane Florence could strike U.S. Southeast


Florence, the most powerful storm to menace the U.S. mainland this year, intensified into a Category 4 hurricane as it howled closer to the Carolinas on Monday (Sept 10), prompting evacuations of more than 1 million people to higher ground.

Just had calls with South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam regarding the incoming storm.

Last night, The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's hurricane hunter has found that Florence is strengthening, and is forecast to become a major hurricane on Monday.

Florence had maximum sustained winds of 128km/h, making it a Category 1 storm on the five-level Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. Georgia, West Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Delaware, New Jersey, southern Pennsylvania, and eastern Tennessee, Kentucky, and OH could also see strong winds.

A BP gas station in Wilmington, North Carolina - where the storm was predicted to land - was out of gas for about two hours on Monday evening, said assistant store manager Nadine Schrock.


The center of the strong storm is about 1,240 miles east-southeast of Bald Head Island, with the hurricane moving westward at roughly 13 mph.

It has been a quieter-than-average hurricane season so far, but things are picking up in a big way: three hurricanes are churning in the Atlantic, with Hurricane Florence rapidly approaching the US East Coast.

The Atlantic hurricane's maximum sustained winds have increased to almost 130 miles per hour (195 kilometers per hour), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in an advisory issued at noon Eastern Time (1600 GMT).

Once it makes landfall, Florence is predicted to stall and remain over North Carolina for at least 24 hours - increasing the threat of risky flooding, NHC director Ken Graham said on Monday.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Under a mission assignment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the USGS plans to deploy about 160 sensors and is consulting with federal and state partners about the need for similar equipment for other areas along the mid-Atlantic coast.


"There is an increasing risk of life-threatening impacts from Florence", the hurricane center has been saying for days.

"Probably worst case scenario is next weekend, maybe Saturday and Sunday, we get some remnants of it, but it's really hard to say", says Bill Simpson, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in MA", who refers to what's coming our way as at best "a minimal impact".

"With the possibility that Tropical Storm (sic) Florence could make landfall in SC, likely as a hurricane, our people have already started making preparations". By Monday, the storm should turn west-northwest and accelerate towards the coast.

Now rated as a category 4 storm - the second most powerful on the national weather service's (NWS) classification system - Florence would be the first storm of that magnitude in recorded history to strike the eastern coastline so far north if it remains on its most likely track.

A mandatory evacuation was ordered for residents of Hatteras Island and some other areas of Dare County in North Carolina.


"It's too early at this point to be precise with how these impacts are going to stack up", he said, "but there is a huge potential someone is going to sustain devastating impacts as a result of this storm".

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