South Carolina residents brace themselves for Hurricane Florence

Two tropical depressions in Atlantic Article by Barbados Today Published on September 8, 2018

Florence grows into major hurricane as it approaches East Coast

The latest update from the National Hurricane Center shows the storm packing maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour, up from 105 miles per hour at 5 a.m. this morning, making it the first major hurricane of the 2018 season.

The National Hurricane Center predicts the storm will be a Category 4 by Tuesday or Wednesday, and it's possible that it could become a Category 5 at some point. The storm was located roughly 1,170 miles east-southeast of the Cape Fear region, and remained a unsafe Category 4 storm. "With Florence strengthening into a hurricane this morning and continuing to move west, Florida families need to remain alert and remember that storms like this can change course and strengthen at any moment", said Gov. Rick Scott. A turn toward the west-northwest is forecast to occur by Monday. The current forecast track suggests the hurricane will most likely approach North Carolina or SC on Thursday as it gathers speed.

As Florence gathered strength far out in the Atlantic, Wall Street was trying to pick winners and losers from any havoc it might cause.

Stay tuned to updates all week long.

A rip current statement is in effect for all beaches in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties. The National Weather Service reminded residents not to focus on the exact forecast track and intensity when planning for Olivia.

The Navy has a tracking map for tropical storms too.

WILMINGTON - Hurricane Florence has strengthened into a Category 3 storm with sustained winds of 115 miles per hour, according to the 11 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center. It would also mean a "massive rain event" from as far north as Virginia all the way down to SC.

If or when hurricane Florence does make it to the US coastline it could do so as a major hurricane, as intensity forecasts show Florence reaching a higher storm category again. Officials said they plan to resume classes Monday morning but will continue to monitor the situation. "Everyone should start preparing now".

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Early on Monday, Sam Lillo, a University of Oklahoma meteorology student, posted this ominous video of Florence at sunrise.

Nasa's satellites have been monitoring its strength and speed, as well as recording some incredible images of the massive storm.

By noon EDT on Monday, Florence had top sustained winds of 130 miles per hour.

"The chances of it going out to sea are extremely slim at this point", she said.

Don't go stocking up on water bottles and batteries just yet.

Impacts of the hurricane can also extend far from the center of the storm. "Florence could dump a foot of rain in places that cannot handle it, making for a very scary flooding situation in some areas".

Mike Sprayberry, director of the state Division of Emergency Management, said the storm could have statewide impacts, from storm surge and high winds along the coast to flooding inland. Multiple states have already declared a state of emergency in preparation for the damaging flooding that Florence is likely to bring.

The University of North Carolina at Wilmington, near the shore, canceled its upcoming alumni weekend and all classes starting at noon Monday, encouraging its students to leave campus for a safer location.

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