Hurricane Florence may approach Category 5

Gwen Vasquez
September 14, 2018

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ordered a mandatory evacuation for about 245,000 residents of low-lying coastal areas, while some coastal counties in North Carolina have done the same.

"North Carolina is taking Hurricane Florence seriously and you should too", said Governor Cooper. Hugo was among the most intense, which made landfall in SC as a Category 4 with 140-mph winds. It was not immediately clear how many people were being evacuated.

The governor of neighbouring North Carolina also ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination, and parts of coastal Dare County, while a state of emergency was declared in Virginia. And some forecasts have the storm slowing to linger over the Carolinas, spreading heavy rain all the way to West Virginia while leading to flooding and power outages.

Drivers in Virginia could see a temporary surge in gas prices this week as Hurricane Florence begins to affect the East Coast, according to AAA Tidewater Virginia.

Airlines, including American and Southwest, have started letting passengers change travel plans that take them into the hurricane's possible path.

Forecasts expect 10 to 15 inches (25-38 cm) of rain in the hardest-hit areas, possibly more if the storm stalls over land, as expected, Graham said.

"Unfortunately, the models were right".

All interests along the coasts of the Southeast and mid-Atlantic are being put on alert for a potential strike from Category 4 Hurricane Florence during the second half of the week.

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South Carolina National Guard soldiers transfer bulk diesel fuel into fuel tanker trucks for distribution in advance of Hurricane Florence, in North Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. September 10, 2018. Two storms, Harvey and Irma, killed more than 140 people in the southeast and caused hundreds of billions of dollars in damages.

Hurricane Isaac is expected to lose strength as it reaches the Caribbean, and Helene, much farther out to sea, may veer northwards into the open ocean as the 2018 hurricane season reaches its peak. "These tropical storms and hurricanes are very risky".

The hurricane roared from a Category 1 (90 mph) to a Category 4 (130 mph) in just 13 hours, an extremely rapid intensification, Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach said.

"There is an increasing risk of coastal storm surge flooding and freshwater flooding from heavy prolonged rain when the hurricane approaches the US", said a NOAA tweet.

"We are not going to gamble with the lives of the people of South Carolina", McMaster said.

The commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command directed almost 30 ships to steam away from the Hampton Roads area of southeastern Virginia, home to Naval Station Norfolk. It was centred east-south-east of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west.

Some 7 million people, primarily in Florida, were asked to flee from Hurricane Irma last September, the largest mass evacuation in USA history, easily surpassing the 2.5 million who were ordered to evacuate during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. And you know, this is going to be a big one. "There is no way to be completely safe".

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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