Florence expected to become hurricane on way to US East Coast

Greg Lawrence
September 15, 2018

Tropical Storm Florence is becoming a "better organized" weather system that will likely strengthen into a hurricane late Saturday, weather forecasters said.

The storm will intensify rapidly on Sunday and become a major hurricane by Monday, with sustained wind speeds of at least 111 miles per hour (179 km per hour), forecasters said.

Florence is expected to travel between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday before approaching the southeastern USA coast on Thursday. The Miami-based center defines a major hurricane as one with wind speed greater than 110 miles per hour (177 kph). The storm was centered about 765 miles (1,235 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda and moving west at 6 mph (9 kph).

Insight by the Thundercat and NetApp: Explore the State Department's IT modernization challenges and strategies in this free webinar.

Governors in both SC and Virginia declared a state of emergency Saturday to give their states time to prepare for the possible arrival of the storm. On North Carolina's Outer Banks, the town of Nags Head posted no-swimming flags on beaches.

United States residents from SC to Virginia were warned that Florence posed an increasing risk of life-threatening coastal storm surge, as well as flooding from heavy rainfall inland.

In coastal Charleston, South Carolina, city officials offered sandbags to residents.

Donald Trump claims '3,000 people did not die' in Puerto Rico hurricane
The death records were provided by the Puerto Rico Vital Statistics Records division of the Puerto Rico Department of Health. Earlier this week, Donald Trump declared his administration's response to Hurricane Maria an " incredible, unsung success ".

Officials in the Carolinas, as well as Virginia, began preparing Friday for the storm's potential major impact.

Myrtle Beach hardware stores and supermarkets were busy ringing up sales of bottled water, plywood and generators. "They're coming in and buying water and plates, and that's about all they're buying". People rushed to get emergency kits ready, map out escape routes, fill sandbags and secure their homes. Cooper urged residents to "review your emergency plans and gather your supplies now". It was on track to move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Wednesday, the NHC said.

In southeast Virginia, Naval Station Norfolk told not to leave their vehicles at the sprawling base later this week because of the flood threat.

The Navy planned to send ships from the Hampton Roads area of Virginia out to sea.

Florida-based Carnival Cruise Line was re-routing its cruise ships, but there were other hurricanes to contend with. The university said Sunday that it has issued a voluntary evacuation for students starting at midday Monday, noting classes would be canceled.

A third storm, Helene, off the Cabo Verde Islands was also expected to become a hurricane later on Sunday but did not appear to pose an immediate threat to land.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER