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Category 4 Hurricane Florence Threatens US With "Catastrophic Flooding"

Category 4 Hurricane Florence Threatens US With

The weather agency also warned "life-threatening freshwater flooding is likely from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event".

The latest update from the National Hurricane Center shows the storm packing maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour, up from 105 miles per hour at 5 a.m. this morning, making it the first major hurricane of the 2018 season.

Hurricane Florence forecasts are increasingly pointing towards the possibility of a landfall somewhere on the USA east coast, with model spread now indicating anywhere the Carolina's as the likely landfall spot, while intensity guidance still shows Florence regaining major hurricane status.

Large swells are already affecting Bermuda and parts of the U.S. East Coast, according to the NHC.

The New Jersey and DE coastlines will feel the effects from Florence by Tuesday afternoon regardless as swells increase and unsafe rip currents begin.

In a statement the centre said: "Further strengthening is anticipated, and Florence is expected to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday". American's Hurricane Florence advisory also includes airports in Charleston, Columbia, Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Greenville, Raleigh-Durham and Asheville, North Carolina; Norfolk, Richmond and Charlottesville, Virginia; and Augusta and Savannah, Georgia. The storm is forecast to strengthen even more.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially began June 1, but cooler water and higher wind shear - winds moving at different speeds and directions - early in the season are less than ideal for tropical systems to gain and maintain strength.

NHC director Ken Graham, says that Hurricane Florence is likely to slow down as it approaches the Carolinas - which could have devastating consequences for residents, reported the Independent.

Over the weekend, the governors of Virginia, North Carolina and SC declared states of emergency, according to CNN.

"We don't want to risk one SC life". Drawing energy from the warm water, it could be a fearsome Category 4 with winds of 130 miles per hour (209 kph) or more by Tuesday, the Miami-based center said.

Nikki Haley was hesitant to use the term "mandatory evacuation", because the government can't force people to leave their homes, according to press conferences at the time.

By 11 a.m. ET (1500 GMT) on Monday, Florence was about 1,240 miles (2,000 km) east-southwest of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and was a Category 4, the second-strongest on the Saffir-Simpson scale, the NHC said.

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

Hurricanes Isaac, which could hit Caribbean islands, and Helene, much farther out to sea, lined up behind Florence as the 2018 Atlantic season reached its peak.

North Carolina officials started getting bulldozers and chain saws ready.

A supervisor at the North Carolina emergency management office was welcoming workers back and telling them to prepare for a long week.


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