Gov. McMaster declares state of emergency ahead of storm arrival

Tropical Depression Six becomes Tropical Storm Florence

Hurricane Florence strengthened early on Monday, packing maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour (170 kph), and forecasters warned that it is "expected to become a major hurricane very soon" as it churns toward the U.S. East Coast.

The governor held a press conference Sunday afternoon alongside state emergency response officials to update the state on the potential impacts Hurricane Florence can have on SC.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Sunday morning that it expects Helene to produce tropical storm conditions for parts of the Cabo Verde Islands on Sunday.

None of these storms have ever hit the U.S. and therefore, if Florence does strike North or SC, it would be a historic moment.

It said Florence, a Category 4 storm on the five-level Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, could approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday.

Risky swells generated by Florence were expected to batter Bermuda early in the week, as well as parts of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. Advisories warning of risky beach conditions or coastal flooding were in effect for parts of New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. The storm's maximum sustained winds are 65 miles per hour (100 kph) and it is moving west at 14 miles per hour (22 kph). It is expected to approach the Hawaiian Islands as a tropical storm by early next week, becoming the third tropical weather system to affect the islands this year.

"I'm telling them to go inland, but I'm anxious about the rain and tornadoes too", Roberts said.

The hurricane center said it was still too early to predict its exact path. "If you see a business taking advantage of this storm, please let my office know so we can hold them accountable", Stein said.

UNC Storm Surge Expert Warns Of Potentially 'Catastrophic' Florence
Anything special about Hurricane Florence? Gusty winds will also be a possibility , which could result in power outages. Residents of affected areas have been flocking to stores to stock up on essentials.

Hurricane Isaac, meanwhile, was expected to lose strength as it reaches the Caribbean, and Helene, much farther out to sea, may veer northward into the open Atlantic as the 2018 hurricane season reaches its peak.

Officials in North Carolina were already bracing for impact. Gradual strengthening is forecast and Florence could become a hurricane again over the weekend.

Storm-force winds could begin buffeting the Carolina coast by Wednesday night, forecasters said.

The biggest threats include flooding and damaging winds.

It is located about 1,170 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina. Gov. Henry McMaster issued a State of Emergency in response.

Many people in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic probably have not experienced a storm of the potential magnitude of Florence.

US Navy ships are also evacuating their ships in the Hampton Roads area to leave the port.

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