Hurricane Florence: over 1m ordered to evacuate in SC and Virginia

Hurricane Florence: over 1m ordered to evacuate in SC and Virginia

Hurricane Florence: over 1m ordered to evacuate in SC and Virginia

Meteorologist Eric Holthaus had a three-letter reaction to the news that Hurricane Florence is now a category 4 storm with 115mph winds and higher gusts.

Hurricane Florence is now forecast to make landfall as a major hurricane near the North Carolina-South Carolina border area between Charleston and Cape Hatteras, N.C., late Thursday.

As of Monday evening, Florence is moving west northwest at 13 miles per hour and heading over warmer waters and less wind shear, which is conducive for maintaining or gaining intensity.

Forecasters say Florence will pass between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday and start its approach to the US on Thursday morning.

More than a million people living along the coastlines of SC and Virginia have been ordered to evacuate their homes on Tuesday, as parts of America's mid-Atlantic coast brace for what could be the most powerful storm to ever hit the region. The move will allow the state to use the National Guard for preparations and recovery if necessary.

NHC spokesman Dennis Feltgen said historically, 90 percent of fatalities from hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical depressions have been caused by water.

Forecasters have warned of a life-threatening storm surge, along with the damage of a hurricane's high winds.

Hurricane-force winds are extending up to 65 kilometres from the storm's centre, while tropical-storm-force winds are blowing out at up to 240 kilometres.

Acknowledging that it's "too soon" to know the storm's exact path, Northam mentioned that all models show Virginia will see significant impact.

Hurricane Isaac has seriously weakened recently due to the wind shear in the Atlantic.

The hurricane was gaining strength as it traveled over warm Atlantic waters, about 1,240 miles (2,000 km) east-southwest of Cape Fear, North Carolina, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory.

Hurricane Florence is around 500m north of the Leeward Islands, which includes four Commonwealth nations - Saint Kitts, Nevis, Barbuda and Antigua.

The governors of Maryland and Virginia have also declared a state of emergency.

Mandatory evacuations have begun along North Carolina's coast.

Heavy rain could cause severe flooding throughout the region.

Inland residents should be prepared with enough supplies such as water, batteries, flashlights, and non-perishable food in the event power outages last for up to a week. The state's emergency management division has posted additional information on the evacuations and how to prepare.

"There is still time to prepare but the window to do so is starting to close", he said.

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