Florence becomes a hurricane, takes aim at US Southeast

Leroy Wright
September 10, 2018

Behind Isaac is Tropical Storm Helene, which was moving across the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands off West Africa on Sunday morning and will become a hurricane late on Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said.

While Hurricane Florence is forecast to hit the Carolinas as a major hurricane later this week, the National Hurricane Center is monitoring two other hurricanes - Isaac and Helene - and a tropical wave in the northwestern Caribbean Sea.

Florence is still sitting more than 1000 miles off the east coast of the United States, but it's still our main focus in the tropics. The storm's maximum sustained winds are 65 miles per hour (100 kph) and it is moving west at 14 miles per hour (22 kph). ET, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in an advisory.

The 150,000 Filipinos who might be affected by Florence live in Virginia, North Carolina, and SC, said the DFA. The Carolina coast needs to brace for impact Thursday and Friday.

Helene - now just southeast of the Cabo Verde islands off the African coast - had winds of 85 miles per hour, and was expected to turn northwest and then north into the open Atlantic by midweek, the NHC said.

The storms are two of three hurricanes now spinning in the Atlantic. "Strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and Isaac is expected to become a hurricane by Monday, (September 10)", the DDM said.

Residents as far north as Virginia were warned that Florence posed an increasing risk of life-threatening coastal storm surge, as well as flooding from heavy rainfall inland should the slow-moving storm system stall over the Southeast.

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By 11 p.m. Sunday, Florence was moving across the Atlantic Ocean at about 7 miles per hour, and it was almost a Category 2 hurricane, with peak winds of 90 miles per hour.

Hurricane Florence is around 500m north of the Leeward Islands, which includes four Commonwealth nations - Saint Kitts, Nevis, Barbuda and Antigua. The forecast has Issac plunging westward into the Caribbean by Wednesday night or Thursday, well south of Florida and Cuba.

"Accordingly, I am declaring a state of emergency so that we can begin to prepare state assets, and I encourage Virginians to monitor forecasts and make their own preparations now".

Hurricane Isaac is the fifth hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season.

"While we don't yet know what the path of this storm will be, it is never too early to prepare yourself, your family, and your home".

Maria - which killed at least 3,057 people, most in Puerto Rico - is believed to be the third costliest tropical cyclone on record.

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