‘Monster’ Hurricane Florence to pummel US Southeast for days

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Already a potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane, it was moving over warmer water and expected to intensify to near Category 5, which means winds of 157 miles per hour (253 kph) or higher. The storm is now about 950 miles from the Carolina coast line, but moving in that direction at about 15 mph. Because of the amount of rain expected, "historic" flooding could occur from Thursday through Sunday. It will then slow considerably while strengthening off the USA coast, and produce extremely risky conditions in its path. The storm, as of Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. EDT, has sustained maximum winds of 130 miles per hour, keeping it as a Category 4, and is still expected to be a major hurricane when it hits land.

Once the storm makes landfall, the threats are far from over.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said his state was "in the bullseye" of the storm and urged people to "get ready now". They said torrential rains in the mountains could easily cause flash floods, leading to extensive damage.

"The last time our unit responded to support state active duty for a hurricane, I was very new to the unit and didn't know if there was much I could do to contribute", said Spc.

North Carolina's governor has ordered a mandatory evacuation for the state's barrier islands as Hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast.

Her home in Hillsborough, North Carolina, is at risk for flooding, and her family and nearby relatives will ride out the storm in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Hurricane watches and storm surge watches have been issued from Edisto Beach, S.C.

The National Hurricane Center predicts a total of 15 to 20 inches of rain in parts of the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states from Thursday to early next week. The weakening of the winds doesn't mean this isn't going to be a bad storm, though.

The storm, which is building up over the Atlantic, is due to make landfall in either North or SC within the next few days, and is expected to be the worst storm to hit the area in 30 years. If you are taking advantage of this late summer treat, remember rip currents and large swells will make it to our southern coastline. "We are totally prepared", Trump said at the White House. "A lot of local people are staying", she said of the island, which is reachable only by ferry or plane.

The storm is expected to bring tropical storm-force winds, life-threatening storm surges of seawater and 35 inches (89 cm) of rain to parts of the Carolinas and Virginia, where intense inland flooding was expected, the center said.

Two other hurricanes, Helene and Isaac, are now trailing Florence in the Atlantic and forecasters have warned that they could head for the UK.

Two other storms were spinning in the Atlantic.

Normally, when hurricanes get above 30 degrees North in latitude, they get pulled poleward by the westerly pattern in the atmosphere between the tropics and poles. "This is going to be catastrophic in parts of eastern North Carolina".

Florence has forced people to cut their holidays short along the coast, while the storm's projected path includes half a dozen nuclear power plants, pits holding coal-ash and other industrial waste, and numerous pig farms that store animal waste in huge lagoons.

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