Florence to rapidly intensify, target Southeast as major hurricane

Cristina Cross
September 10, 2018

Florence remains a tropical storm located 840 miles southeast of Bermuda, it is moving west at 9 mph.

As the storm moves away from the Cabo Verde Islands later Sunday, it was expected to have the opportunity to become a hurricane.

"All indications are that Florence will be an extremely unsafe Category 4 hurricane while it moves over the western Atlantic toward the southeastern United States", the Miami-based hurricane centre said.

Florence was a Category 4 hurricane last week, the first of the 2018 Atlantic season.

Governors in both SC and Virginia declared a state of emergency Saturday to give their states time to prepare for the possible arrival of the storm.

Unsafe swells generated by Florence were expected to batter Bermuda early in the week, as well as parts of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.

Norwegian Cruise Line said it had to change the itinerary of a Bermuda-bound ship - adding stops in the Maritimes - because of the storm.

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North Carolina declared a state of emergency on Friday. "Florence could dump a foot of rain in places that cannot handle it, making for a very scary flooding situation in some areas".

"Florence is forecast to be a unsafe major hurricane near the southeast USA coast by late next week, and the risk of direct impacts continues to increase", the hurricane center said Saturday. They were likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, according to the NHC.

USA residents from SC to Virginia were warned that Florence posed an increasing risk of life-threatening coastal storm surge, as well as flooding from heavy rainfall inland. It was expected to strengthen into a hurricane then weaken by the middle of the week.

Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Saturday night, which allows the mobilization of resources and helps Virginia aid other states impacted by the storm. Strengthening is forecasted during the next 48 hours and Helen is expected to become a hurricane later on Sunday.

Over 50 million people live where a flood watch or warning is in effect, mainly in the Midwest and in Texas.

The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service said it is monitoring the progress of Tropical Storms Helene and Isaac in the Eastern Atlantic.

"This storm is too powerful and its path is too uncertain to take any chances", said South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster on Saturday.

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