Hurricane Florence Is Now a Category 3 Storm

Hurricane Florence approaches east US, set to become ‘extremely dangerous’ storm

As of 11 a.m. Monday, hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 30 miles from the center of the storm and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.

South Carolina's northern coast and North Carolina's Outer Banks are expected to take the most direct hit if the hurricane keeps to the current forecast, according to news outlets.

As of 5 p.m. ET Monday, the center of Florence was located about 1,170 miles from Cape Fear, North Carolina, and was moving to the west-northwest at 13 mph.

Hurricane Florence's path could still change over the next four days, but it's looking increasingly likely that Charlotte and the city's surrounding communities will feel a taste of the storm's power.

The latest update from the National Hurricane Center shows the storm packing maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour, up from 105 miles per hour at 5 a.m. this morning, making it the first major hurricane of the 2018 season.

"These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip currents", the National Hurricane Center said.

By the time it reaches the US mainland, the NHC says Florence will strengthen into "an extremely risky major hurricane".

"To the incredible citizens of North Carolina, South Carolina and the entire East Coast - the storm looks very bad!" wrote the president, who cancelled a planned rally Friday in Jackson, Mississippi in light of the approaching storm.

"Pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of SC and is going to go way inshore", McMaster said at a press conference.

"It's nearly certain there will be some impact on Charlotte, but it depends on the track", meteorologist Jake Wimberley said from the weather service's office in Greer, S.C. The office forecasts for the western Carolinas including Charlotte.

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McMaster also said in a news conference on Monday that officials will reverse the lanes on four big roads going away from the coast.

"As we have seen with hurricanes in most recent years, such as Lane in Hawaii earlier this summer and Harvey last year in Texas, feet of rain can fall when these tropical storms stall", Sosnowski said.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said his state was "in the bullseye" of the storm and urged people to "get ready now".

On Monday Florence had strengthened into a category 4 hurricane.

"This is a very unsafe hurricane", McMaster said, adding that the evacuation order for coastal counties was "mandatory, not voluntary".

Troops have received ready to deploy orders for Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

The NHC also says the storm could become more powerful.

Handout via Getty Images Hurricane Florence is seen traveling west over the Atlantic Ocean on September 10, 2018. We're just a strip of land - we're a barrier island.

Large swells were already expected to hit the British island territory in the north Atlantic Ocean Saturday.

#Florence has intensified to a Category 2 hurricane overnight and is expected to reach major hurricane status later today. Isaac's forward movement was accelerating on a path to cross into the lower Caribbean on Thursday.

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