Florence expected to become a 'major hurricane' as it heads to US

Hurricane Isaac

In a tweet Monday, President Donald Trump urged the "incredible citizens" of the Carolinas and the East Coast to prepare for Hurricane Florence.

Isaac is located about 1,090 miles east of the Lesser Antilles and has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, the NHC said in its latest update Monday. As of 5 p.m., hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the storm's center, while tropical storm-force winds extend out 150 miles. He told The Chronicle Sunday that once Florence hits land, destructive winds and vast rainfall flooding may take hold of the area.

Florence's centre was expected to move over the Atlantic Ocean between the Bahamas and Bermuda on Tuesday and Wednesday before approaching North and SC on Thursday.

Florence was upgraded twice Monday to Category 4, prompting numerous warnings from state officials to not underestimate the threat the storm poses.

SC ordered an estimated one million people to evacuate its coast today as the state and neighbouring North Carolina brace for Hurricane Florence.

"Folks, if you are in the Carolinas or Virginia - this is a historic storm", declared Eric Holthaus, meteorologist and journalist who writes about extreme weather and climate change for Grist.

Historically, 90 per cent of fatalities from hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical depressions have been caused by water, NHC spokesman Dennis Feltgen said.

"While it is too soon to determine the exact timing, location, and magnitude of these impacts, interests at the coast and inland from SC into the mid-Atlantic region should closely monitor the progress of Florence, ensure they have their hurricane plan in place, and follow any advice given by local officials".

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The National Weather Service has placed parts of New Hanover County under a coastal flood advisory through midnight.

At this statistical height of the Atlantic hurricane season, Florence was being trailed on east-to-west paths by two hurricanes, Helene and Issac.

Further to the east, forecasters are also watching hurricanes Isaac and Helene.

It is moving west at 14 miles per hour.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's office said that Florence is already being felt along the state's coast, with large sea swells resulting in life-threatening rip currents and surf. SC has been hit by three Category 4 storms: Hazel; Gracie, in 1959; and Hugo, in 1989. He encouraged people to learn evacuation routes and put fuel in their vehicles in case they're ordered to leave.

Virginia's emergency operations chief, Jeffrey Stern, told reporters that residents should brace for "something that no one in Virginia has experienced in their lifetimes".

The wild horses that make their homes on the coast of the Tar Heel state are staying put, and they might be better prepared to outlast a storm than anyone. In September of 1998 there were 4 hurricanes in the Atlantic at the same time.

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