Tropical Storm Isaac could potentially affect BVI as hurricane in days

Florence expected to become hurricane, heading to southeast US

The storm expected to keep building in strength before making landfall on Thursday, the US National Hurricane Center said.

At this statistical height of the Atlantic hurricane season, Florence was being trailed on east-to-west paths by Hurricane Helene near the Cabo Verde islands, and Tropical Storm Isaac. While the cone of uncertainty still covers most of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, prediction models of the storm indicate it's headed toward some area between Charleston, S.C. and North Carolina's Outer Banks.

Forecasters said it is too early to know the exact path Florence will take but warned that it could roll ashore in the Carolinas by Thursday.

Where is the hurricane now?

The eye of the storm is about 575 miles southeast of Bermuda and 1,230 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, N.C. It's moving west at 13 mph, the NHC said.

As of the NHC's advisory issued at 11 p.m. EST Sunday, Hurricane Florence is expected to strengthen to a major hurricane of Category 3 or above by Monday night and is forecast to move over the Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Since reliable record-keeping began more than 150 years ago, North Carolina has only been hit by one Category 4 hurricane: Hazel, with 130 miles per hour winds in 1954.

What else should I know?

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The South Carolina Governor has ordered a mandatory evacuation on Monday of up to one million residents of the USA state's eastern coast ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence. "Pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit SC". All three states have declared states of emergency.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

If you live along the US coast from the Southeast to the Mid-Atlantic, you need to prepare for what increasingly looks like a worst case scenario: landfall of a Category 3 or even 4 hurricane.

Dare County officials ordered everyone to leave Hatteras Island on Monday.

Florence's max sustained winds have been clocked at 130 miles per hour with an further increase expected on Monday.

Florence will cause life-threatening storm surge at the coast and flooding from rainfall inland, forecasters predict.

Large swells are already affecting Bermuda and parts of the U.S. East Coast, according to the NHC.

"The Department of Defense is working very closely with the Department of Homeland Security and is prepared to assist FEMA and our other Federal partners in supporting the States impacted by the storm", Manning said. Given the way Florence intensified before it seems either are possible over the coming few days.

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