Hurricane Florence to make landfall as evacuations begin

Hurricane Florence to make landfall as evacuations begin

Hurricane Florence to make landfall as evacuations begin

The National Hurricane Center said "some strengthening" is expected during the next 36 hours, and it is "expected to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday".

As of 11 p.m. ET Monday, Florence had maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Over in the Pacific, this storm is still moving toward Hawaii, where tropical storm warnings and watches have been issued, the hurricane center said.

Beyond the damage from wind and high surf, Hurricane Florence is anticipated to slow over the Carolinas where it might dump up to 30 inches of rain over quite a bit of North and SC.

"North Carolina is taking Hurricane Florence seriously and you should too", said Governor Cooper.

More than one million Americans are set to flee their coastal homes as powerful Hurricane Florence rolls towards the East Coast. Freshwater flooding is extremely likely once the storm makes landfall, possibly as far inland as West Virginia.

One year after major storms ravaged the Gulf Coast and Puerto Rico, officials warned those in Florence's path not to underestimate the threat the storm poses.

More than a million people are expected to flee low-lying areas, as SC and Virginia ordered mandatory evacuations of coastal areas starting on Tuesday.

"This is a very risky hurricane", McMaster said, adding that the evacuation order for coastal counties was "mandatory, not voluntary".

Nasa said the storm, now brewing above the Atlantic Ocean, had weakened to Category 1 strength, but is expected to strengthen into a Category 3 hurricane by the time it makes landfall on the USA mainland.

Senators and Congressmen from Virginia urged President Trump Monday to declare a federal emergency before Hurricane Florence makes landfall later this week.

With South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster saying: "Now is the time for your family also to prepare and stay tuned for more updates".

Florence is now being measured as a Category Four storm, this means there are sustained winds of about 140mph.

"We are not going to gamble with the lives of the people", McMaster, a Republican, said.

Florence is packing maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour.

The US Navy said it was preparing to send about 30 ships stationed in Virginia out to sea.

Last week, Hurricane Florence became the first Category 4 hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season.

Amtrak is also waiving fees for travelers and said it will accommodate customers on other trains.

Hurricane Harvey killed 68 people and caused catastrophic flooding in Houston, while Hurricane Irma caused 129 storm-related deaths in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.

Many newcomers have moved to the coast in the almost 19 years since the last strong hurricane - Floyd - threatened the area.

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