Florence becomes a hurricane; 2 other storms gain strength
03:54, Sep 12, 2018
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Hurricane Florence strengthened early on Monday, packing maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour (170 kph), and forecasters warned that it is "expected to become a major hurricane very soon" as it churns toward the U.S. East Coast.
By 11 a.m. ET (1500 GMT) on Monday, Florence was about 1,240 miles (2,000 km) east-southwest of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and was a Category 4, the second-strongest on the Saffir-Simpson scale, the NHC said.
On its current track, the storm could make landfall around the Carolinas on Thursday or Friday.
At 1500 GMT, Isaac, which the NHC called a small hurricane, was about 1,150 miles (1,855 kms) east of the Windward Islands - a region still recovering from last year's powerful Hurricane Maria - with maximum sustained winds near 75 mph (120 kph).
Florence will cause life-threatening storm surge at the coast and flooding from rainfall inland, forecasters predict.
"None of the guidance suggest that Florence has peaked in intensity", the Hurricane Center said, predicting that its peak winds will reach 155 miles per hour Tuesday, just 2 miles per hour shy of Category 5. Now traveling over warm water, the storm is expected to increase in speed and become a hurricane by the end of Saturday night according to the National Hurricane Center.
Met Service said neither of the storms are a threat to Jamaica. Given the uncertainty and time it takes to evacuate, officials in North Carolina have issued mandatory evacuation orders for Dare County and Hatteras Island.
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