TROPICS: Florence expected to produce damaging winds in Carolinas

Meanwhile, Hurricane Isaac is holding steady in strength over the Atlantic as it heads westward. It is moving to the west-northwest at 17 miles per hour.

Storm surge and freshwater flooding from rainfall could become life-threatening risks, especially from SC through the mid-Atlantic.

Navy ships off Virginia's coast are getting ready to sail out of the path of the powerful hurricane and one North Carolina university has cancelled classes.

"We here in North Carolina are bracing for a hard hit", Cooper said Monday.

"We expect a rapid intensification of Florence tomorrow", Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, said on Sunday. SC has been hit by three Category 4 storms: Hazel; Gracie, in 1959; and Hugo, in 1989.

Hurricane-force winds could buffet the Carolinas by Wednesday night with landfall likely in SC and North Carolina on Thursday, followed by heavy rains that could cause flooding in much of the U.S. Southeast, the NHC said. Mandatory evacuations have begun along North Carolina's coast. Please take all necessary precautions. However, the entire east coast is warned to be on high alert in case the storm's path further shifts, and of course, the impacts will expand far beyond the storm's initial landfall.


"This means winds jumped up from 75 mph to 130 mph in just 25 hours ending 12 p.m. EDT Monday". Little change in strength is forecast today, with slight weakening starting tonight and continuing through Tuesday.

"Life-threatening freshwater flooding is likely from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event, which may extend inland over the Carolinas and Mid Atlantic for hundreds of miles as Florence is expected to slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland."

Hurricane Florence isn't the only storm churning in the Atlantic Ocean.

N.C. Emergency Management is coordinating with counties, the federal emergency management agency and other key partners ahead of the storm. "Further strengthening is anticipated, and Florence is expected to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday".

Risky storms are also threatening parts of the U.S.in the Pacific Ocean. "Storm Surge and Hurricane watches could be issued for portions of these areas by Tuesday morning".

The hurricane center predicted between nine and 13 named storms this season, four to seven of which would be hurricanes. But forecasters say residents should still beware of the chance for unsafe flooding and wind.


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