Wind, rain, surge, flood: Hurricane Florence could hit hard

Florence to become hurricane late Saturday

An increase in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days.

The National Hurricane Center said Tuesday morning that Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 miles per hour (24 kmh) and the storm will continue a slight increase in speed during the next couple of days. Florence is heading towards Virginia and the Carolinas, where a state of emergency has been declared, and Helene appears to be heading north, well away from land.

Helene: The 5:00am advisory on Hurricane Helene has the storm with maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour.

At last check, the BWS said Hurricane Florence's closest point of approach to Bermuda within 72 hrs is forecast to be 297 nm to the SSW at 8pm on Tuesday, September 11th.

For many people, the challenge could be finding a safe refuge: If Florence slows to a crawl just off the coast, it could bring torrential rains to the Appalachian mountains and as far away as West Virginia, causing flash floods, mudslides and other unsafe conditions.

Warm Atlantic Ocean waters are adding to Florence's strength, and computer models predict that the storm will make landfall Thursday in North Carolina or SC as a major hurricane.

Florence is so wide that a life-threatening storm surge was being pushed 300 miles ahead of its eye, and so wet that a swath from SC to OH and Pennsylvania could get deluged.

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National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warned that Florence was forecast to linger over the Carolinas once it reaches shore. Ilija Cesal told the newspaper he wouldn't worry about buying extra water or other supplies for a few more days. The state's emergency management agency said it's "preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster".

It has been a quieter-than-average hurricane season so far, but things are picking up in a big way: three hurricanes are churning in the Atlantic, with Hurricane Florence rapidly approaching the US East Coast. Typically, local governments in North Carolina make the call on evacuations. "Storm surge and hurricane watches could be issued for portions of these areas by Tuesday morning", the NHC said, adding that at 11:00 a.m.

"The water could overtake some of these barrier islands and keep on going".

There is an increasing risk of storm surge at the coast and damaging hurricane-force winds in the Carolinas.

Forecasters said parts of North Carolina could get 20 inches of rain, if not more, with as much as 10 inches elsewhere in the state and in Virginia, parts of Maryland and Washington, D.C. So far, the storm has caused the death of at least 19 people in North Carolina and destroyed thousands of homes in it's path.

As of Monday night, there are three hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean. It was moving to the west at 16 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour.

Hawaii prepares for a direct strike from a steady-moving Tropical Storm Olivia. With little wind shear to pull the storm apart, hurricane-strength winds have been expanding to 40 miles from the eye of the storm, and tropical-storm-force winds 150 miles from the center.

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