Evacuations underway as Florence strengthens to category 4 hurricane

Posted September 12, 2018

The approach of Hurricane Florence has sparked mandatory evacuations for parts of the Carolinas and Virginia, where the center of the Category 4 storm is expected to arrive on Thursday.

The Carolinas could begin to feel Hurricane Florence's fury as early as Wednesday night, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, and North and SC have all declared states of emergency.

"This means the east and southeast winds on the east side of the storm are going to be most effective in driving storm surge flooding as the wind and waves pound the coast".

A third Atlantic storm, Hurricane Helene, is not expected to impact any land in the coming days as it moves north over open water.

McMaster has already declared a state of emergency in SC and asked President Donald Trump for a federal declaration ahead of the storm, which intensified Monday to a potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour (195 kph). With little wind shear to pull the storm apart, hurricane-strength winds have been expanding to 40 miles (64 kilometres) from the eye of the storm, and tropical-storm-force winds 150 miles from the centre.

More news: Djokovic: Del Potro has a big game

Far from this hurricane parade on the other side of the globe, Tropical Storm Olivia is flying solo east of Hawaii.

In North Carolina, evacuations were already underway: Dare County officials issued a mandatory evacuation on Monday for Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks, and ordered more evacuations for other areas of the county beginning Tuesday morning.

"Also, looking like a direct hit on North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia".

The rain could lead to life-threatening flash flooding.

"Florence is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 15 to 20 inches with isolated maxima to 30 inches near Florence's track over portions of North Carolina, Virginia, and northern SC through Saturday", says the National Hurricane Center.

The center of the massive storm is then forecast to meander Thursday, Friday and Saturday over a stretch of coastline saturated by rising seas, inundating several states and triggering life-threatening floods.

More news: Obama Campaigns for Seven California Democrats in Key House Districts

Hurricane and storm surge warnings went up Tuesday along the coast of both Carolinas.

A special NY task force is heading south to help with Hurricane Florence.

That amount of storm surge would put Florence on par with Hurricane Fran.

Although it's hard to attribute any storm's intensification to one specific factor over another, a scientist explained some of the potential reasons to Fox News.

"We're ready. We're as ready as anybody has ever been", he said. Gov. Roy Cooper declared North Carolina under a state of emergency last Friday.

More news: Serena Williams fined $17K for rules violations at US Open