Published: Mon, September 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

TROPICS: Florence expected to produce damaging winds in Carolinas

TROPICS: Florence expected to produce damaging winds in Carolinas

Florence strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane Monday and continued its slow but angry dance toward the U.S. East Coast as residents braced for the worst.

The National Hurricane Center said Saturday the storm was expected to become a "major hurricane" by Tuesday as it passes between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Cooper said state emergency management officials are working with local and federal agencies to prepare North Carolina for possible impacts from Florence. Coastal hazards are a concern - rip currents, storm surge, flooding and damaging winds - but inland freshwater flooding is also a concern, so everyone from SC to the Mid-Atlantic region should closely monitor Florence and have hurricane plan in place. Meteorologists in the area where Florence will likely hit are warning residents of life-threatening flooding after the landfall of the storm.

Experts have forecast the upgraded tropical storm will gather force - going from a category 1 hurricane to a category 3 on Monday morning.

Hurricane Helene, upgraded from a tropical storm Sunday afternoon, had winds clocked at 75 miles per hour.

Forecasters said it was too soon to determine the exact timing, location and magnitude of storm surges and flooding Florence will cause.

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The storms are two of three hurricanes now spinning in the Atlantic.

Hurricane Olivia is projected to weaken as it near Hawaii, but a tropical storm watch is in place for Maui and Oahu.

As of 5 p.m. Sunday, the storm was moving westward at 7 miles per hour. The storm was centered about 765 miles (1,235 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda and moving west at 6 mph (9 kph).

She said: "Florence has our attention, and it should because by Thursday we should be seeing major impacts along the south-east coast". Maximum sustained winds had yesterday increased to near 110 km/h with higher gusts.

The news release notes that plans could change if forecasts indicate a decrease in the strength or change in the track of the storm. "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".

"Pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of South Carolina and is going to go way inshore", South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said.

A tropical depression could form later this week when a trough now over the northwest Caribbean Sea moves over the western Gulf of Mexico, the center said.

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