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

One million told to evacuate ahead of 'extremely dangerous' Hurricane Florence

One million told to evacuate ahead of 'extremely dangerous' Hurricane Florence

National Hurricane Center's latest report shows Hurricane Florence has intensified into category 4 hurricane on Monday.

It was centered about 1,230 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west at 13 mph.

The storm is forecast to continue towards the United States, and approach the southeastern coast by Thursday.

Florence was producing large swells expected to reach from the northern Caribbean to the southern coasts of Canada's Maritime provinces.

The first effects were already being seen on barrier islands Monday as unsafe rip currents and seawater flowed over the state highway.

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The storm was upgraded Monday morning to a Category 3 hurricane, but grew to Category 4 a short time later, the National Hurricane Center said in its latest update Monday. "Further strengthening is anticipated, and Florence is expected to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday".

This enhanced satellite image made available by NOAA shows Tropical Storm Florence, center, in the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 at 2:45 p.m. EDT.

According to the North Carolina Emergency Management agency on September 9, there is now an "increasing risk of life-threatening impacts: storm surge at coast, flooding inland ..."

North and SC and Virginia have all declared states of emergency in anticipation of Hurricane Florence. It was moving to the west-northwest at 9 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour.

While the cone of uncertainty still covers most of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, prediction models of the storm indicate it's headed toward some area between Charleston, S.C. and North Carolina's Outer Banks.

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Heavy rain could cause severe flooding throughout the region.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Isaac is expected to weaken as it approaches the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean, and then possibly fall apart. Any Category 3, 4, or 5 hurricane is classified as a major hurricane.

"Plan for the worst, pray for the best". With winds of 75 miles per hour, it's expected to strengthen a bit before weakening as it approaches the Lesser Antilles on Thursday and Friday.

Universities closer to the North Carolina coast had already announced cancellations.

To the east, Hurricanes Isaac and Helene (far right) are seen in the Atlantic Ocean.

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UNC Wilmington started its "a voluntary evacuation for students" at noon Monday and said on its website that classes will be canceled.

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