Hurricane Florence is plowing toward the East Coast as a Category 4 storm with a 500-mile wing span, forcing dire warnings and mandatory evacuations - including the entire coastline of SC and parts of Virginia and North Carolina.
The center says the storm is moving west-northwest at 15 miles per hour, and has maximum sustained winds of about 140 miles per hour. It is also located 1,240 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, according to the NHC.
Hurricane Florence rapidly formed into a powerful Category 4 storm Monday as it churned towards the U.S. East Coast.
The last major hurricane to hit the North Carolina coast was Matthew in 2016, a storm that caused major river and flash flooding that killed 26 in the state.
Feasting off the energy from unusually strong sea surface temperatures, Hurricane Florence is intensifying quickly and tracking inexorably toward landfall along the U.S. Southeast or Mid-Atlantic coast on Thursday.
Florence continues to become a better organized storm, with a familiar buzz-saw appearance from satellite shots. Florence was gaining strength in the warm waters of the Atlantic and expected to make landfall sometime Friday morning.More news: Tesla cuts number of stock colors to streamline production
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North Carolinians are bracing for impact as Hurricane Florence barrels toward Wilmington with the Piedmont expected to feel the storm's wrath.
So far, mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for residents and visitors in some coastal areas of the state, while other counties only issued them for those in low lying and "flood prone" areas.
FEMA Hurricane Preparedness Digital Toolkit Template Employers can customize this letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to communicate with employees about preparing for the hurricane and its impact, and reminding them of trusted sources of information. "We're just a strip of land - we're a barrier island", she said. The northernmost landfall was made by Hazel, a devastating and deadly storm that struck close to the South Carolina/North Carolina border in October 1954.
Florence was expected to build into potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane today as it closed in on North and SC.
Quagliariello advised the public to consider the path's "cone of uncertainty", which shows where the hurricane is likely to go two-thirds of the time.
Shifts in the hurricane's path are still possible, The Washington Post noted.
"We are expecting more wind that we had with Hugo and more water than we had with Matthew.", McMaster said. The storm was located roughly 1,170 miles east-southeast of the Cape Fear region, and remained a unsafe Category 4 storm.