US East Coast braces as Florence forecast to intensify into major hurricane

TROPICS: Florence expected to produce damaging winds in Carolinas

A Category 4 hurricane has winds of 130 to 156 miles per hour on the Saffir-Simpson Scale of Hurricane Intensity.

The storm expected to keep building in strength before making landfall on Thursday, the US National Hurricane Center said.

As of 11 a.m., Florence had a maximum wind speed of 115 miles per hour, bringing it to major hurricane status.

Duke officials are closely monitoring forecasts for Hurricane Florence, which is on its way to becoming one of the strongest storms to hit the Southeast coast, according the Weather Channel. The move will allow the state to use the National Guard for preparations and recovery if necessary. Georgia, West Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Delaware, New Jersey, southern Pennsylvania, and eastern Tennessee, Kentucky, and OH could also see strong winds.

"Florence has continued to rapidly strengthen", the NHC said.

There is an increasing risk of storm surge at the coast and damaging hurricane-force winds in the Carolinas.

The vessels will get underway from Naval Station Norfolk and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek to avoid potential damage from winds and tidal surges, said Colonel Rob Manning a Pentagon spokesman.

Here's what should you know about the powerful storm's path.

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But the season is just now peaking, and Hurricanes Florence, Isaac, and Helene are a stark reminder that we are not out of the woods yet.

SC has ordered the mandatory evacuation of its entire coast, and evacuations were also ordered for several North Carolina towns, as Category 4 Hurricane Florence continues her aggressive pursuit towards the states.

The National Weather Service has placed parts of New Hanover County under a coastal flood advisory through midnight.

Mandatory evacuation orders also were issued for more than 300,000 people in North Carolina and Virginia.

"Isaac is a small hurricane and uncertainty in the forecast is higher than normal, NHC Forecaster John Cangialosi said in Monday's forecast discussion. Whipping out store shelves of water and other supplies".

The wild horses that make their homes on the coast of the Tar Heel state are staying put, and they might be better prepared to outlast a storm than anyone.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's office said that Florence is already being felt along the state's coast, with large sea swells resulting in life-threatening rip currents and surf.

While Guam is getting hit now with Typhoon Mangkhut and Hawaii is likely to get Tropical Storm Olivia tomorrow night, lets focus on the Atlantic, where three hurricanes have lined up. With winds of 75 miles per hour, it's expected to strengthen a bit before weakening as it approaches the Lesser Antilles on Thursday and Friday.

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