US coast braced for severe hurricane strike

Florence expected to become hurricane, heading to southeast US

Arnold shared his first photos of Hurricane Florence, taken when it was still a Category 2 storm. He tweeted on Friday: "Globally, this is a remarkable day".

Helene will not threaten the United States.

Around one million people have been ordered to evacuate from the SC coast as the state and neighboring North Carolina brace for a hit from Hurricane Florence, the most powerful storm to take aim at the U.S. mainland this year.

Hurricane-force winds could buffet the Carolinas by Wednesday night with landfall likely in SC and North Carolina on Thursday, followed by heavy rains that could cause flooding in much of the U.S. Southeast, the NHC said.

According to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, a Category 4 storm means 'Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls.

In North Carolina, some schools had already canceled classes for the week by early Monday, as the state braced for what would be only its second brush with a Category 4 hurricane since record-keeping began in the 1800s - the other was 1954's Hazel. All three states have declared states of emergency.

"While it is too soon to determine the exact timing, location, and magnitude of these impacts, interests at the coast and inland from SC into the mid-Atlantic region should closely monitor the progress of Florence, ensure they have their hurricane plan in place, and follow any advice given by local officials". "We are a resilient state and resilient people", he said.

From the Carolinas to Virgina residents are doing what they can to prepare. "Make your plans now", he said.

"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", he said.

Dr. Rick Knabb, hurricane expert at The Weather Channel, tells NPR that it's important not to focus exclusively on the coast when it comes to Florence's potential impact.

"Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda and portions of the U.S. East Coast", the it added. The center warns that such storms will snap or uproot most trees and down power poles and that power can be out in some areas for weeks or months. He said they are planning for a statewide event and that inland counties are also at risk.

The massive hurricane poses a serious threat as it barrels toward a landfall somewhere along the East Coast on Thursday.

An animation of GOES-16 weather satellite imagery shows Florence strengthening from a tropical storm into a Category 1 hurricane at 15 UTC on Sunday, September 9, 2018.

This news about Hurricane Olivia comes just weeks after Hurricane Lane brought 3-4 feet of rainfall to parts of Hawaii.

For many, the challenge could be finding a safe refuge: If Florence slows to a crawl just off the coast, it could carry torrential rains up into the Appalachian mountains, causing flash floods, mudslides and other risky weather across a wide area.

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