Evacuations Ordered as Hurricane Florence Becomes Category 4 Storm

Florence is expected to continue strengthening be an "extremely dangerous" major hurricane through Thursday.

Swells generated by distant Florence have begun to impact the southeastern U.S., including Florida, and will continue to do so through much of this week.

The hurricane center said, "Maximum sustained winds are near 75 miles per hour (120 km/h) with higher gusts".

Hurricane Florence is on course for landfall later this week in the Carolinas.

Stocks in weather-sensitive industries reacted as Hurricane Florence moved closer to the U.S. East Coast on Monday.

Mike Sprayberry, director of the state Division of Emergency Management, said the storm could have statewide impacts, from storm surge and high winds along the coast to flooding inland.

The governors of Virginia, North Carolina and SC all declared states of emergency.

"Pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of SC and is going to go way inshore", McMaster advised.

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The Miami-based center said in its 5 a.m. ET advisory that Florence was about 625 miles (1,005 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda, moving west northwest at 9 mph (15 kmh).

US President Donald Trump, whose administration faced severe criticism for a slow response in Puerto Rico to Hurricane Maria, cancelled a political rally planned for Friday in Jackson, Mississippi, over safety concerns related to Florence, his campaign said.

Hurricane Helene, was spinning in the Atlantic off West Africa's Cape Verde islands with 85-mph (140-kph) winds on Monday, but did not appear to pose an immediate threat to land.

That's because Florence will reach areas that have already experienced a lot of rain in recent weeks - and it won't take much for flash floods to start in these regions.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper urged his state's residents to get ready, noting the storm was generating swelling waves and risky currents. Mandatory evacuations have begun along North Carolina's coast.

As Hurricane Florence intensified into a major, Category 4 storm in the Atlantic Ocean today (Sept. 10), astronauts and satellites have spotted the enormous weather system from space.

Dare County has a year-round population of more than 30,000 people, but the population balloons during tourist seasons.

"Isaac is a small hurricane and uncertainty in the forecast is greater than normal", the National Hurricane Center reported Monday at 11 a.m. Multiple states have already declared a state of emergency in preparation for the damaging flooding that Florence is likely to bring.

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