Intensifying Hurricane Florence could strike US Southeast


Forecasters said Florence could become an extremely risky major hurricane sometime Monday and remain that way for days.

"The centre of Hurricane Isaac was located near latitude 14.7 North, longitude 43.9 West. Isaac was moving towards the west near 14 miles per hour".

Tropical Storm Isaac formed in the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Hurricane Florence, a unsafe Category 4 hurricane, continued it's slow slog toward the N.C. coast late Monday, with forecasters expecting the storm to strengthen even more before likely weakening before landfall.

Over the next 36 hours, Florence's winds could reach 150 mph, the hurricane center says.

The National Hurricane Center is advising people in the hurricane's path to prepare for potentially life-threatening storm surges, freshwater flooding and damaging winds as Florence impacts the United States this week. Its maximum sustained winds were at 105 miles per hour (165 kph).

It added: "The largest threat to life from hurricanes is not the high winds".

Helene is also expected to strengthen from its current status as a category 1 hurricane. However, the entire east coast is warned to be on high alert in case the storm's path further shifts, and of course, the impacts will expand far beyond the storm's initial landfall.

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It said that a hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area and Prime Minister Skerrit reminded citizens that Hurricane Maria had increased its intensity "in a matter of hours from a Category 3 to Category 5 storm when it lashed the island on September 18 previous year, killing several people and causing hundreds of dollars in losses".

But the season is just now peaking, and Hurricanes Florence, Isaac, and Helene are a stark reminder that we are not out of the woods yet.

"Meteorologists don't see any environmental factors that would help to weaken the storm", Weather Channel meteorologist Dale Eck said in an interview today.

"Life-threatening freshwater flooding is likely from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event, which may extend inland over the Carolinas and Mid Atlantic for hundreds of miles as Florence is expected to slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland".

Isaac has become the fifth hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season. Of the two other storms, which remain far from land, Isaac poses the most immediate risk.

Trump has declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, and canceled campaign events Thursday and Friday in anticipation of the storm.

The black line and dots forecast the track of the center of the storm at a particular point in time, according to the National Hurricane Center. Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune urged people to secure their homes but said it was too early to know if evacuations will be ordered.

Trump was being briefed by the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the Oval Office on Tuesday.