Hurricane Florence, Isaac, Helene Tropical Update

Cristina Cross
September 12, 2018

He says the federal government is ready to respond to the Category 4 storm.

Stay updated on our Hurricane Florence coverage here, and please prepare yourself now if any of these storms threaten an area where you live. He says electric power could be out for weeks. McMaster on Sunday predicted Florence will likely deliver "a strong hit on SC", though he cautioned that it's still uncertain how bad the Palmetto State will be affected.

Hurricane Helene is strengthening rapidly as it moves across the tropical Atlantic.

Trump announced the action Tuesday. Forecasters warn that the predicted track will likely change - but for now, it shows the strong hurricane bearing down on the North Carolina coast, with a potential landfall north of Wilmington.

There are three hurricanes and a tropical wave in the Atlantic Ocean, and forecasters predict Hurricane Florence will make landfall later this week. The Windward Islands can anticipate 1- to 2-inches of rain.

Hurricane Florence churned Tuesday toward the Eastern Seaboard as a storm of "staggering" size, forcing a million people to evacuate the coast. A westward motion with a slight increase in forward speed is expected through the end of the week.

Skerrit said he was urging all citizens "to take these warnings seriously".

Concerns about the monster storm extended even into Virginia.

AccuWeather meteorologist Brett Rossi said the ground in North and SC and Virginia is already saturated from recent rains. But getting out of harm's way could prove hard.

"We do not want to risk one SC life in this hurricane", Governor Henry McMaster told a news conference.

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The National Weather Service has also forecasted heavy swells from Surf City north along the coast.

But that's not all, there are two other disturbances out there as well.

Only a trickle of vehicles was going in the opposite direction, including pickup trucks carrying plywood and other building materials.

Isaac, with winds of 70 miles per hour, is now tracking westward toward the Caribbean.

"Florence is a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale".

Forecasters urged residents from SC to the mid-Atlantic to get ready - and not just for a direct blow against the coast.

The storm forced people to cut their vacations short along the coast. Four days before, that difference is 150 nautical miles, he said. "I guess that's a big part of the problem".

Tropical storms generate winds between 39 and 73 miles per hour, just below hurricane force. The Category 4 storm destroyed 15,000 buildings and killed 19 people in North Carolina.

Hurricane Helene will likely continue to strengthen since it is in a low wind shear environment and warm waters. That means, she said, that the Wilmington region is going to be affected by what she said is going to be a major hurricane that could reach category 4 strength, which means maximum sustained winds of 130 to 156 miles per hour. The first impacts were already being seen Monday on a barrier island, as seawater flowed over a coastal road. Coastal evacuations were in effect for Virginia and North Carolina as well.

"We've seen nor'easters and we've seen hurricanes before", Cooper said, "but this one is different".

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