State braces for major hurricane

State braces for major hurricane

As Hurricane Florence grows stronger, meteorologists say it could hit the Carolinas later this week.

The storm has 115 mph winds and is located 580 miles south-southeast of Bermuda and is moving west at 13 mph.

According to the noon-time update from the NHC, operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Florence now has sustained winds of almost 130 miles per hour and has no become what the agency considers "a major hurricane".

The weather agency also warned "life-threatening freshwater flooding is likely from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event".

"Interests along the US East Coast, particularly Florida through North Carolina, should closely monitor the progress of Florence, ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials", the NHC said.

State of Emergency has been declared by North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

The South Carolina governor ordered the state's entire coastline to be evacuated by today and predicted that 1 million people would flee.

CNN's forecasters warn that Florence could be the strongest and most devastating hurricane to hit North and SC in about three decades.

At its present course and speed, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas through Wednesday and approach the coast of North Carolina or SC in the hurricane watch area Thursday and Friday.

Handout via Getty Images Hurricane Florence is seen traveling west over the Atlantic Ocean on September 10, 2018.

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"NOAA Hurricane Hunter plane investigating Florence found that its winds had increased to 130 miles per hour late Monday morning", said The Weather Channel.

On North Carolina's Outer Banks, Dawn Farrow Taylor, 50, was gathering photos and important documents and filling prescriptions Monday before heading inland.

Cooper said he asked President Donald Trump for a federal disaster declaration so that resources will be ready when the storm arrives. "We're just a strip of land - we're a barrier island", she said.

South Carolina Emergency Management will open their emergency shelters on Tuesday based on need.

Helene, meanwhile, was still in the Atlantic's spawning ground for hurricanes off the coast of Africa, swirling with 105 mph (165 kmh) winds and forecast to become a major hurricane, about 375 miles (600 kilometers) west of the Cape Verde islands.

North Carolina's governor declared a state of emergency on Sunday, one day after SC.

Quagliariello advised the public to consider the path's "cone of uncertainty", which shows where the hurricane is likely to go two-thirds of the time. Virginia's price gouging law allows for a civil penalty of up to $2,500 per violation (or up to $5,000 if in violation of an injunction), and North Carolina allows for a civil penalty of up to $5,000 per violation. While the exact track of Florence remains uncertain, the threat of a North Carolina landfall sometime Thursday into Friday continues to increase.

Shifts in the hurricane's path are still possible, The Washington Post noted.

North Carolina should brace for three dangers from Florence, Cooper said: coastal ocean surges, strong winds and flooding.

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