Florence gains hurricane status as it tracks towards east coast

Monday, 10 Sep, 2018

"Strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and Isaac is expected to become a hurricane by Monday, (September 10)", the DDM said. The Miami-based center said Florence is expected to become a hurricane by Sunday.

The National Hurricane Center says Florence could make landfall by Friday in the Southeast U.S. and that residents from SC to the mid-Atlantic need to get ready.

Unsafe swells generated by Florence affected Bermuda and have begun to reach parts of the Eastern Seaboard. It is expected to approach the Hawaiian Islands as a tropical storm by early next week, becoming the third tropical weather system to affect the islands this year. It's about 790 miles southeast of Bermuda, with maximum-sustained winds of 70 mph.

Heavy rain could also cause catastrophic flooding well inland from where the storm makes landfall, which is possible anywhere from Florida to New England, AccuWeather said.

Virginia joined North and SC in declaring a state of emergency ahead of the storm.

"Everyone in North Carolina needs to keep a close eye on Florence and take steps now to get ready for impacts later this week", Cooper said in a statement on Sunday.

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"Make your plans now", South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster urged residents during a Sunday afternoon news conference.

Meanwhile residents along the United States east coast are being warned to prepare for the possible arrival of Florence next week, with modelling showing the weakened storm could regain it's strength to a hurricane as it approaches Bermuda.

The Miami-based center says Florence is gaining strength and is expected to become a major hurricane Monday and keep that status as a powerful and extremely unsafe storm until Thursday. The storm is moving west at 6 miles per hour.

As a result, a Hurricane Watch and Tropical Storm Warning are in effect for the Cabo Verde islands of Santiago, Fogo and Brava. Its winds weakened Thursday when it returned to tropical storm status.

Hurricane Florence is a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (120 km/h), with higher gusts.

Isaac will be near the Lesser Antilles later this week and could bring impacts to parts of the Caribbean Islands during this time frame.