Hurricane Florence: 'Big and vicious' storm closes in on Carolinas

Florence remains a powerful category four hurricane

Florence remains a powerful category four hurricane

It was picking up speed over the warm waters of the Atlantic, causing forecasters to worry not only about landfall - but about flooding brought by heavy rains afterward, possibly late Thursday or Friday.

Every few hours, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) releases updated information regarding the storm's location and projected path by using the NHC's "forecast cone".

Hurricane watches in Dominica, Martinique and Guadeloupe were discontinued, and the Netherlands government issued a tropical storm watch for Saba and St. Eustatius.

Florence, it said, will bring "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall to portions of the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic".

"With this storm, what's unique is it's forecast to stall. dropping copious amounts of rainfall across the Carolinas and into Virginia", Long said.

With September fulfilling the promises of peak hurricane season, residents are reminded to take the appropriate precautions for hurricane season - such as having emergency kits ready and knowing your hurricane plan - even if the storms are not now projected to hit Northwest Florida. The storm was moving west at 13 miles per hour.

President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.

Hurricane Florence has now intensified to category 4, with 130 miles per hour winds.

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Manning adds hundreds of troops are ready to deploy at a moments notice, while the Federal Emergency Management Agency is setting up operations at Fort AP Hill, in Virginia.

At 2am local time on Wednesday the "monster" storm was centred 625 miles south east of Cape Fear, North Carolina, moving at 17mph.

Forecasters said Florence was expected to blow ashore late Thursday or early Friday, then slow down and unload one to two-and-a-half feet of rain that could cause flooding inland and wreak environmental havoc by washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms. So the land can't absorb much more water.

Experts say this could be the strongest storm to hit the Carolina coast in more than 60 years.

American Airlines has waived change fees for customers flying between September 10 and September 16 to impacted airports as far south as Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport in Georgia and as far North as Virginia.

"Hurricane #Florence this morning as seen from @Space_Station", Arnold tweeted on Monday.

During a press conference on Saturday, the governor issued an executive order declaring a State of Emergency for the state of sc.

"It's really hard to speculate this far out, since there's still significant uncertainty in the track", Sara Orsi, spokeswoman for flight-tracking service FlightAware, said about how Florence might impact flights after landfall.

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