Florence strengthens 'rapidly,' now powerful Category 4 hurricane

Florence strengthens 'rapidly,' now powerful Category 4 hurricane

Florence strengthens 'rapidly,' now powerful Category 4 hurricane

The National Hurricane Center issued a storm surge and hurricane watch for the east coast from Edisto Beach, South Carolina north towards the North Carolina-Virginia border.

But the large storm's tropical-storm-force winds could start to reach the coast of the Carolinas as early as Wednesday night, the NHC said.

"All parts of the state could be affected by the storm", Cooper said at a press conference on Monday morning, warning that power outages could last for "awhile".

Where is the hurricane now?

As Hurricane Florence-now upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane-appears headed toward the southeastern US, the governors of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia have declared states of emergency. As the forecast becomes clearer, Florence poses three challenges: coastal storm surge, strong winds and inland flooding that inundates rivers and low-lying ground.

A hurricane bringing 90 miles per hour winds and the risk of devastating storms and floods is hurtling toward the USA, prompting a large portion of the East Coast to declare a formal state of emergency.

What else should I know?

South Carolina's governor ordered the evacuation of its entire coastline while North Carolina and Virginia have declared states of emergency.

Immediately to the north of Virginia, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said his state was also was "preparing for the potential of historic, catastrophic and life-threatening flooding".

"We are preparing for the worst, and of course hoping for the best", South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said, adding that his declaration would allow state agencies to deploy assets quickly to the coast.

While Florence is still hundreds of miles away from land, forecast models have the Cape Fear Region in the storm's cone of uncertainty.

If Florence tracks northward toward Greensboro, he said, Charlotte could still see significant winds.

The hurricane roared from a Category 1 (90 mph) to a Category 4 (130 mph) in just 13 hours, an extremely rapid intensification, Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach said. If the GFS model turns out to be the storm's correct path, the coast will be the most impacted area. In September 1989, Hurricane Hugo smashed its way up from the SC coast near Charleston and made a beeline for Charlotte, knocking over thousands of trees and leaving many without power for weeks.

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

Hurricane Florence is intensifying in the Atlantic Ocean and is now a Category 4 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Two other hurricanes are now churning in the Atlantic Ocean.

"Everyone in North Carolina needs to keep a close eye on Florence and take steps now to get ready for impacts later this week", Cooper said.

Agriculture is an important aspect of North Carolina's industry.

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