Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Science | By Patricia Jimenez

Georgians urged to prepare for Florence

Georgians urged to prepare for Florence

The Carolinas and other parts of the East Coast could be hit a major hurricane next week as Tropical Storm Florence continues to intensify, the National Hurricane Center said Sunday morning.

It said that maximum sustained winds are near 75 miles per hour with higher gusts and that additional strengthening is expected over the next day or two.

Florence exploded into a potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane Monday as it closed in on North and SC, carrying winds up to 130 miles per hour and water that could wreak havoc over a wide stretch of the eastern United States later this week. The U.S. Fleet Forces Command said in a news release Saturday that the ships will get ready in anticipation of getting under way Monday to avoid storm damage.

Hurricane Florence is now a category 3 hurricane and continues its westerly course according to the National Hurricane Center's latest update. 9 Key Messages for Tropical Storm #Florence.

The storm has sustained winds of 75 miles per hour.

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Damaging tropical storm force winds may begin as early as Tuesday afternoon across the Big Island and Maui. A turn toward the west-northwest is forecast to occur by Monday. Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area starting early Wednesday morning.

Florence could trigger heavy flooding as it lingers over areas already drenched by heavy rain, forecasters said.

US residents from SC to Virginia were warned that Florence posed an increasing risk of life-threatening coastal storm surge, as well as flooding from heavy rainfall inland.

The news release notes that plans could change if forecasts indicate a decrease in the strength or change in the track of the storm.

Preparations for Florence come as the Atlantic hurricane season hits its peak.

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"Whatever happens, we're going to have a lot of rain and a lot of wind, even if the hurricane goes farther north", he added.

The storm's center was 750 miles (1,200 km) southeast of Bermuda at 11 a.m. EDT on Sunday. Forecasters predicted it would become a risky Category 4 storm before a possible landfall Friday. The order extends to all residents and visitors in other areas of Dare County beginning at 7 a.m. on Tuesday.

Large swells and surf generated by Hurricane Olivia will be the initial threat.

Florence has been upgraded for the second time Monday and is now a Category 4 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center. A west-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed is expected by Monday, and that motion is forecast to continue through mid-week, Met Service said. One in the western sections of the Caribbean Sea has a 30% chance of organizing into a depression as it moves into the western Gulf of Mexico.

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