Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

Hurricane Florence slightly increases in speed

Hurricane Florence slightly increases in speed

"Further strengthening is anticipated and Florence is expected to be an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday", the NHC said in a statement.

"McMaster said he would reverse lanes on four main roads to facilitate the evacuation", The State reported.

If Florence slows to a crawl just off the coast, it could carry torrential rains up into the Appalachian mountains, causing flash floods, mudslides and other unsafe weather across a wide area.

Florence was more than 400 miles wide early Monday, according to the NWS.

By Monday morning, the hurricane center classified Florence as a "major" hurricane, Category 3, meaning it was packing sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ordered the evacuation of coastal counties to begin noon Tuesday, with school and government office closures to ease traffic.

It added: "The largest threat to life from hurricanes is not the high winds".

Helene - 490km west of the Cape Verde islands off the African coast - has winds up to 150km/h and is expected to continue moving west-northwest for another couple of days, the NHC said in its bulletin. In such winds, downed trees and power outages are common, and well-built homes can suffer heavy damage, the NHC says.

Storm surge and hurricane watches may be issued early Tuesday for portions of southeastern USA states, the NHC said.

At 11 p.m. EDT, the storm's center was located about 465 miles (750 kilometers) south-southeast of Bermuda and about 1,085 miles (1745 kilometers) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.

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That track shows the center of the storm continuing inland to Raleigh and Greensboro. He estimated that about one million people will be affected by order, including residents and visitors.

It would then reach land on the North Carolina coast at about 22:00 local time on Thursday.

Governors in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia have declared states of emergency in preparation for Florence.

Hurricane Florence has slightly increased in speed as it heads toward the U.S. East Coast. Half her supply was going to barricade a basement soup kitchen she managed, she said, and the other half was going to protect her own home on nearby Johns Island.

This satellite image taken yesterday shows Hurricane Florence off the United States east coast in the Atantic Ocean.

Oosterwyk was gathering tax documents and other important papers from her store on Monday, and said she planned to drive 150 miles (240 km) inland to ride out the storm in the town of Cary. Those who don't won't face punishment, either, and that could be another reason behind peoples' decision to weather a storm - no matter how risky.

She and her husband would decide Tuesday morning whether to evacuate their family of two kids and a dog, said LaRoche.

Millions of Americans are preparing for what could become one of the most catastrophic hurricanes to hit the Eastern Seaboard in decades, with mandatory evacuations already issued for parts of three East Coast states.

The United States was hit with a series of high-powered hurricanes past year, including Hurricane Maria, which killed about 3,000 people in Puerto Rico, and Hurricane Harvey, which killed 68 and caused an estimated $1.25 billion in damage from catastrophic flooding in Houston. Please take all necessary precautions.

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