Hurricane Florence: Warnings of life-threatening surge

Hurricane Florence: Warnings of life-threatening surge

The "extremely unsafe major hurricane" is predicted to hit the coast late Thursday or early Friday morning, dropping as much as 30 inches of rain in some areas, says the National Hurricane Center.

A state of emergency has been declared in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington amid concern over potential torrential rain and flooding. The hurricane is expected to approach the coast of the Carolinas on Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

"The seas are going to get extremely rough and so any boating should be discouraged until this thing moves inland and the seas drop off this coming weekend".

A storm surge warning was issued from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Duck, North Carolina, and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers.

Tropical-storm-force winds could reach the coastline as early as Wednesday night, at which point all outdoor preparations should be completed.

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The powerful storm is expected to make landfall in the Carolinas late Thursday, and almost 1.5 million people are under mandatory evacuation orders in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

The center says the storm is moving west-northwest at 17 miles per hour, and has maximum sustained winds of about 130 miles per hour.

The latest National Weather Service (NWS) update on Tuesday morning says Florence is expected to "continue a slow strengthening trend for the next day or so".

Far from this hurricane parade on the other side of the globe, Tropical Storm Olivia is flying solo east of Hawaii.

The University of North Carolina canceled its scheduled home game against the 18th-ranked University of Central Florida in Chapel Hill due to the storm's expected landfall.

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"Life-threatening flash floods" are now being predicted as the storm brings "very heavy, prolonged rainfall" across a large portion of the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic, said a tweet from the National Hurricane Center.

Oliva said various models have the storm's eye making landfall anywhere between Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Cape Hatteras in the Outer Banks. Hurricane force winds start at 74 miles per hour.

A warm ocean gives hurricanes their fuel, and Florence is moving over an area with water temperatures nearing 85 degrees (30 Celsius), hurricane specialist Eric Blake wrote. "So this is, again, we are just hoping people take heed and do not underestimate this storm".

Residents of the eastern United States - particularly the Carolinas and Virginia - are bracing for a hurricane, as Hurricane Florence gathers power while forming over the Atlantic.

"We here in North Carolina are bracing for a hard hit", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Monday.

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