Millions prepare for potentially catastrophic Hurricane Florence

Mandatory evacuation issued for Hatteras Island ahead of Hurricane Florence

Some meteorologists are already predicting that Florence "could be one of the worst storms in USA history".

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) announced Hurricane Florence continued to strengthen Monday morning, with experts claiming the storm will likely impact Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the United States this week.

More than 1.5 million people were ordered to evacuate their homes along the US southeast coast as Hurricane Florence, the most powerful to menace the Carolinas in almost three decades, barreled closer on Tuesday.

States of emergency have also been declared in Maryland and Virginia.

Hurricane Harvey killed 68 people and caused catastrophic flooding in Houston, while Hurricane Irma caused 129 storm-related deaths in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.

"Life-threatening" hurricane and storm surges watches have been issued for huge swathes of the USA southeastern coast as Hurricane Florence barrels across the Atlantic Ocean. The last storm to hit the Carolinas as a category 4 was Hurricane Hugo almost 30 years ago in 1989.

The storm will pick up additional strength as it passes over ocean water with sea surface temperatures of up to 85 degrees, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Florence could be only the second Category 4 storm to pummel the Carolinas since 1800, when record-keeping began.

A hurricane watch has been issued for the East Coast from Edisto Beach, S.C., to the North Carolina-Virginia border, including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

With sustained winds howling at almost 220km per hour, Florence was upgraded to a Category 4 by the National Hurricane Center yesterday, as the tempest churned about 965 kilometres southeast of Bermuda and headed toward the East Coast.

Florence becomes a hurricane, barrels toward US East Coast
While there is potential for tropical storm force winds in the Valley, the biggest threat by far here would be flooding. The NWS Central Pacific Hurricane Center inHonolulu issued an update on Hurricane Olivia on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018.

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Right now, using the PGA Tour's projections, that group includes DeChambeau, Rose, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Tony Finau. Every shot means so much this time of the year, and the last two holes Saturday at the BMW Championship might mean even more.

California wildfires: Motorists panic as flames surround highway
The so-called Delta Fire broke out shortly after noon on Wednesday about 10 miles north of Redding, Calif. Residents were issued an evacuation warning, urging them to be prepared to leave if the fire threatened.

WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area starting late Tuesday.

Meanwhile, roughly one million people have been ordered to evacuate from South Carolina's entire coastline.

Two other hurricanes - Isaac and Helene - have also formed in the Atlantic Ocean.

And the timing couldn't be more apt: Monday is the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, when storm activity is historically at its highest.

The last time the midsection of the East Coast stared down a hurricane like Florence, it was hurricane Hazel in 1954 when Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House and Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were newlyweds.

Florence was some 2,414km away from the East Coast and moving west at roughly six miles per hour on Sunday morning, according to CNN. Tens of thousands of people are also expected to seek higher ground along coastal areas of North Carolina. That storm brought $125bn in damage last summer, mostly in Texas.

While the storm could weaken some before making landfall, forecasters expect it could still be a Category 3 or 4.

The alerts also mean unsafe storm surges are likely along the coast and heavy, sustained rains could cause life-threatening flooding inland, the National Hurricane Center warned.

Florence "is particularly big, particularly strong and. there's nothing stopping it", the SC governor Henry McMaster said at a news conference on Monday.

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