State braces for major hurricane

12 September, 2018, 03:55 | Author: Grady King
  • Hurricane Florence approaches east US, set to become ‘extremely dangerous’ storm

As of 12:00 p.m. on Monday, Data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter indicate that Florence has continued to rapidly strengthen and has maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour (195 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 946 mb making the powerful storm a Category 4.

The National Hurricane Center expects Florence to pass between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then approach the USA states of North Carolina and SC by late Thursday into Friday.

As of 5 a.m., Florence was centred about 625 miles southeast of Bermuda, moving west at 9 miles per hour.

The Atlantic hurricane's maximum sustained winds have increased to almost 130 miles per hour (195 kilometers per hour), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in an advisory issued at noon Eastern Time (1600 GMT).

The powerful Hurricane Florence threatened to bring "days and days" of rain and potentially deadly flooding to the USA southeast coast, North Carolina's governor warned on Tuesday, as some 1 million people were ordered to evacuate their homes.

Forecasters also warned that large swells, which will cause "life threatening surf and rip currents", are already hitting Bermuda and parts of the east coast. "Florence is expected to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday".

The governors of North and SC and Virginia declared states of emergency far ahead of the approaching storm.

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South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster also declared a state of emergency Saturday and temporarily suspended regulations for vehicles transporting supplies and utilities - like gas, electricity and medical supplies, among others.

If it makes landfall in North Carolina as a Category 4 storm, it will be the largest storm to hit the state since Hurricane Hazel in 1954.

"The storm is strong and getting stronger", Cooper said.

U.S. President Donald Trump, whose administration was criticized as being slow to respond to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico a year ago, canceled a political rally planned for Friday in Jackson, Mississippi, over safety concerns related to Florence, his campaign said.

At a press conference on Monday, Cooper called his state the "bullseye" for Hurricane Florence, saying they are "bracing for a hard hit".

He estimated about 1 million residents would flee the coast of his state, following earlier orders for the evacuation of more than 50,000 people from the southern-most Outer Banks barrier islands of North Carolina.

The U.S. military said it was sending an advance team to Raleigh, North Carolina, to coordinate with state and local authorities.

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"The evacuation order will be inconvenient, but we do not want to sacrifice one SC life, we are not going to gamble the lives of SC people", McMaster said.

Astronaut Ricky Arnold, onboard the International Space Station, captured the hurricane churning in the Atlantic as it morphed into a monster storm.

While the governor noted there is still some uncertainty about the track of the storm, he says Maryland officials are "preparing for the potential of historic, catastrophic and life-threatening flooding in Maryland".

"Interests in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states should monitor the progress of Florence".

In the Eastern Atlantic the disturbance east of the Cabo Verde Islands has strengthened into Tropical Storm Helene, the eighth named storm of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season.

Florence now is a category 1 hurricane as of the 5 p.m. advisory.

Isaac is expected to gain strength in the next day or two before beginning to weaken mid-week when it approaches the Lesser Antilles.

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