Florence still Category 1 hurricane but continues to strengthen

Florence still Category 1 hurricane but continues to strengthen

Florence crossed the 74 miles per hour threshold from tropical storm to hurricane Sunday morning, and by evening its winds were up to 85 miles per hour (140 kph) as the National Hurricane Center warned it was expected to become an extremely risky major hurricane by Monday and remain that way for days.

As of Sunday night, hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 25 miles from Florence's center, while tropical storm winds extended up to 125 miles.

A photo taken from the International Space Station by astronaut Ricky Arnold shows Hurricane Florence over the Atlantic Ocean in the early morning hours of September 6, 2018.

In Charleston, South Carolina, along the coast, city officials offered sandbags to residents.

With September fulfilling the promises of peak hurricane season, residents are reminded to take the appropriate precautions for hurricane season - such as having emergency kits ready and knowing your hurricane plan - even if the storms are not now projected to hit Northwest Florida. Forecasters had predicted between nine and 13 named storms this season, four to seven of them hurricanes.

With the region now in Florence's projected path, weather officials are advising area residents to start making preparations.

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"We are getting updates from the National Hurricane Center and FEMA as well as our other partners and drawing on everyone's experience to plan and prepare to respond to any need", state Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry said in the release. The forecast showed Isaac tracking south of Puerto Rico as it strengthened into a hurricane.

Across the Southeast, people were urged to put together emergency supply kits, prepare their homes and research evacuation routes. At right is Tropical Storm Helene, and second from right is Tropical Storm Isaac. Storm surge and large battering waves can result in large loss of life and cause massive destruction along the coast. Others have it moving inland but dumping flooding rain. This flooding can persist for several days after a storm has dissipated. A tropical depression that was upgraded to Tropical Storm Isaac on Saturday is headed toward the Caribbean and brings a greater chance of curving north toward Puerto Rico and the mainland, potentially as a hurricane.

Tornadoes can accompany landfalling tropical cyclones. The effects from damaging wind/surge/rainfall/etc. can be felt hundreds of miles away from the center of the storm.

Unsafe waves produced by a tropical cyclone's strong winds can pose a significant hazard to coastal residents and mariners.

A third storm, Hurricane Helene, was spinning in the Atlantic off West Africa's Cabo Verde Islands with 75-mph (121-kph) winds on Sunday, but did not appear to pose an immediate threat to land.

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