'Extremely Dangerous' Florence On Track to Hit East Coast As Major Hurricane

Theresa Obrien
September 11, 2018

Florence had maximum sustained winds of 128km/h, making it a Category 1 storm on the five-level Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. It is projected to make landfall between Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina Thursday evening as a Category 4 Major Hurricane.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 10 miles from the center and tropical-storm force winds extend outward up to 45 miles, the NHC said.

By Monday morning, the hurricane center classified Florence as a "major" Category 3 hurricane, with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour.

As forecasters closely monitor the exact track of Hurricane Florence, there is growing certainty that Eastern North Carolina will see significant impacts from the storm.

The governors of North and SC and Virginia have all declared states of emergency ahead of the approaching storm. The move will allow the state to use the National Guard for preparations and recovery if necessary.

At a hardware store in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, store manager John Johnson said the rush on batteries, flashlights, plastic tarps and sandbags began Friday. The last was Hurricane Fran in 1996, which came ashore near Wilmington.

"There is an increasing risk of life-threatening impacts from Florence", the hurricane center has been saying for days. "People are getting frantic", manager Nadine Schrock said, adding her shop also sold out cases of bottled water. Hurricane damage can go beyond the coast as heavy rain and strong winds are expected inland.

An average hurricane season includes at least 12 named storms - which may be less powerful than full-fledged hurricanes - and six hurricanes, with three of those being major storms.

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"North Carolina is taking Hurricane Florence seriously, and you should, too", Cooper said.

September 10 is the peak of the hurricane season in the Atlantic and the time when the strongest hurricane develop.

In Guam, Typhoon Mangkhut - a Category 4 storm - narrowly missed dealing a direct blow to the island.

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued Monday for parts of North Carolina's Outer Banks, with wider orders expected to follow later this week. Ilija Cesal told the newspaper he wouldn't worry about buying extra water or other supplies for a few more days.

"We are preparing for the worst and of course hoping for the best".

A storm surge is created by winds of a hurricane pushing ocean water toward the coast.

Isaac is expected to gain strength in the next day or two before beginning to weaken mid-week when it approaches the Lesser Antilles.

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