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Florence is now a hurricane

2018-09-09 17:19
Hurricane Florence regained Category 1 strength on Sept. 9 as it continued to track to the U.S. East Coast, according to U.S weather officials. The storm could hit the southeastern U.S. coast by late this week as a Category 3 storm or higher, bringing life-threatening winds, flooding, and storm surge. The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC), in an 11 a.m. ET update, said Florence is “forecast to rapidly strengthen to a major hurricane by Monday, and is expected to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane through” Thursday, Sept. 13. At present, forecasters said that the storm is located 750 miles southeast of Bermuda, and it is forecast to move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between the Bahamas and Bermuda on Sept. 11 and Sept. 12 before getting close to the southeastern U.S. coastline. “There is an increasing risk of two life-threatening impacts from Florence: storm surge at the coast and freshwater flooding from a prolonged heavy rainfall event inland. While it is too soon to determine the exact timing, location, and magnitude of these impacts, interests at the coast and inland from South Carolina into the mid-Atlantic region should closely monitor the progress of Florence, ensure they have their hurricane plan in place, and follow any advice given by local officials,” according to the NHC's update. The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia have declared respective states of emergency in their states ahead of Florence’s predicted landfall. By Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, the storm will begin to affect the Carolinas and southern Virginia. “A west-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed is expected by [Sept. 10], and that motion is forecast to continue through mid-week. On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the southeastern U.S. coast on Thursday,” said the NHC  in an alert earlier on Sept. 9. Currently, there are no coastal warnings or watches for the storm. The U.S. Navy also said that ships are preparing to depart Hampton Roads on Sept. 10. “Our ships can better weather storms of this magnitude when they are underway,” said U.S. Fleet Forces Commander Adm. Christopher Grady, according to Military.com. Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda and starting to reach parts of the Eastern Seaboard, the National Weather Service said. At 5 a.m. EDT, the hurricane center said Florence’s maximum sustained winds were estimated to be 70 mph. The storm was centered about 765 miles southeast of Bermuda and moving west at 6 mph, according to The Associated Press. The Associated Press contributed to this report. From The Epoch Times