SC declares emergency ahead of Florence

SC declares emergency ahead of Florence

Forecasters say Tropical Storm Florence has turned into a hurricane and it threatens to be a "major hurricane" as it swirls toward the U.S. East Coast for what could be a direct hit toward the end of the week.

At 5 p.m. EDT, the hurricane center said Florence's maximum sustained winds were estimated to be 70 miles per hour (110 kph).

At 11 a.m. EDT, the hurricane center said Florence's maximum sustained winds were estimated to be 75 miles per hour.

Gradual strengthening is forecast and Florence could become a hurricane again over the weekend.

The storm's center was 750 miles (1,200 km) southeast of Bermuda at 11 a.m. EDT on Sunday.

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AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski warned that Florence could even make landfall along the U.S. East Coast. Cooper said it's "too early" to know where the storm will go, but residents should use the weekend to prepare for the possibility of a natural disaster. This ridge of high pressure will cause a blocking pattern and steer Florence dangerously close to, or into, the East Coast of the midweek.

Virginia has declared a state of emergency Saturday in anticipation of Tropical Storm Florence and its potential impact, according to a statement from Gov. Ralph Northam.

The US East Coast is bracing for Florence as it approaches the coastline.

The news release notes that plans could change if forecasts indicate a decrease in the strength or change in the track of the storm.

"A hurricane is coming our way", McMaster said Sunday at a news conference held at the State Emergency Operations Center.

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The forecast cone of Florence touches the East Coast between Savannah and Wilmington, N.C. Advisories warning of unsafe beach conditions or coastal flooding were in effect for parts of New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

"It looks like now that (computer model) consensus really kind of puts it between Georgia and North Carolina", though other states along the coast should watch as well, CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar said Saturday afternoon.

A slew of unsafe storms - hurricanes, tropical storms and a typhoon - are now traveling over both the Atlantic and Pacific.

As of early September, the 2018 hurricane season had been calm compared to the frenzy of 2017, in which three major storms - Harvey, Irma, and Maria - wrought havoc in the Caribbean and on the US mainland.

Florence is moving toward the west near 6 miles per hour, and this general motion is expected to continue today. Their governors declared states of emergency Friday and Saturday.

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Another tropical storm has now developed in the Atlantic and could possibly hit the British Virgin Islands as a hurricane in the next few days.