Tropical Storm Florence prompts North Carolina State of Emergency

This enhanced satellite image made available by NOAA shows Tropical Storm Florence center in the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday Sept. 8 2018 at 2:45 p.m. EDT

The storm reached major hurricane status Wednesday, peaking with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (210 kph).

Florence, as a hurricane, will approach the Southeast coastline overnight Thursday into Friday.

Officials in North Carolina are already bracing for impact.

The center says it is still too early to predict the hurricane's exact path, but a huge coastal area from northern Florida to North Carolina has been urged to remain on guard for the possibility of a major hit.

"That is pretty warm for this time of year and it will help keep the hurricane's intensity up as it nears the coast", he said.

“Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda and are beginning to reach portions of the US East Coast.

Florence was in the Atlantic about 1,500 miles from the coast and 750 miles from Bermuda, moving west at 6 mph, the center said.

Hennen said computer models agree Florence is on track to hit the Carolinas.

This enhanced satellite image made available by NOAA shows Tropical Storm Florence third from right in the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday Sept. 8 2018 at 3 p.m. EDT. At right off the coast of Africa is Tropical Storm Helene and second from right is Trop
Florence continues to intensify and East Coast landfall appears imminent (free access)

Tropical Storm Helene, which formed Friday, was about 270 miles east-southeast of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands.

Almost all of the North Carolina and SC coasts are included in the cone of uncertainty for the storm and the latest model Saturday night showed the storm making landfall in Wilmington.

"This storm is too powerful and its path is too uncertain to take any chances", South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said in issuing his state's emergency declaration.

And courtesy of BoatUS.com, one of our favorite storm-tracking websites, here is its latest projected forecast track ... Yesterday, data pointed to a landfall smack dab in the middle of the Palmetto coastline between Charleston and Myrtle Beach - near where category three monster Hurricane Hugo, roared ashore back in 1989.

Florence was a Category 4 hurricane last week, the first of the 2018 Atlantic season.

This enhanced satellite image made available by NOAA shows Tropical Storm Florence, centre, in the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday.

Florence is expected to bring two major threats to the Carolinas, according to the National Hurricane Center: storm surge flooding on the coast and inland freshwater flooding from heavy rain. Admiral Christopher Grady said ships can better weather "storms of this magnitude when they are underway".

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