ENC towns declare State of Emergency

TROPICS: Florence expected to produce damaging winds in Carolinas

But, our eyes on the mainland will likely be focused on Florence, which is rapidly strengthening now at a major Category 4 hurricane and getting stronger.

Hurricane Florence is rapidly strengthening and is expected to hit the USA east coast later this week as a major hurricane, according to the latest forecasted track.

Experts have forecast the upgraded tropical storm will gather force - going from a category 1 hurricane to a category 3 on Monday morning.

As of Monday evening, Florence is moving west northwest at 13 miles per hour and heading over warmer waters and less wind shear, which is conducive for maintaining or gaining intensity. Forecasters said that once the storm makes landfall, Florence is anticipated to move inland, but may quickly stall, bringing heavy rains to parts of the southeast.

Over the weekend, the governors of Virginia, North Carolina and SC declared states of emergency, according to CNN. Among the airports commonly mentioned are those in North and SC, as well as Norfolk and Richmond, VA and Savannah, GA. "And I'm like, 'You guys are a week early.' We'll be dealing with this, Hurricane Florence, next week".

The NWS is predicting "life-threatening" storm surge and inland freshwater flooding, with some models predicting upwards of 2ft of rainfall.

An average hurricane season includes at least 12 named storms - which may be less powerful than full-fledged hurricanes - and six hurricanes, with three of those being major storms.




Hurricane Florence is around 500m north of the Leeward Islands, which includes four Commonwealth nations - Saint Kitts, Nevis, Barbuda and Antigua.

Public schools and state agencies in 26 counties will also be closed Tuesday until further notice, authorities said.

Florence is the third hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, after Hurricane Chris (Category 1) and Hurricane Beryl (Category 2), which formed in early July but didn't make landfall.

In Guam, Typhoon Mangkhut - a Category 4 storm - narrowly missed dealing a direct blow to the island.

Earlier Monday, coastal communities in North Carolina ordered evacuations, and SC ordered evacuations for its entire coastline. While the damage at landfall was catastrophic, most of the deaths and damage from Harvey were from the tremendous, record-shattering rain that fell across the Houston metro area, which caused disastrous flooding. Ilija Cesal told the newspaper he wouldn't worry about buying extra water or other supplies for a few more days.

The US Navy said it was sending almost 30 ships from coastal Virginia out of port to ride out the storm.

Initial predictions didn't quite pan out this year - so far, we've had nine named storms and five hurricanes.

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