With mandatory evacuations issued for coastal regions of North and South Carolina and Virginia, millions of Americans are preparing for what could be the most catastrophic hurricane to hit the US East Coast in many decades. The latest report from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) indicates that Hurricane Florence is packing winds up to 140 mph as a Category 4 storm, which could strengthen and become a Category 5 storm Tuesday.
Computer models forecast the storm to make landfall in North or South Carolina on Thursday, hitting a stretch of coastline that is already vulnerable to sea level fluctuations with 30- to 40-foot waves.
By 5 a.m. Tuesday, the NHC released a report specifying Florence was about 975 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west-northwest at 15 mph. Its center will be wedged between Nassau and Bermuda on Wednesday and approach the coast of South and North Carolina on Thursday, as a possible Category 4/5 storm.
“The storm looks very bad!” President Donald Trump tweeted Monday afternoon.
To the incredible citizens of North Carolina, South Carolina and the entire East Coast – the storm looks very bad! Please take all necessary precautions. We have already began mobilizing our assets to respond accordingly, and we are here for you! pic.twitter.com/g74cyD6b6K
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2018
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ordered an estimated 1 million people to evacuate from coastal areas of the state as Florence strengthened to a Category 4 storm Monday. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, who ordered an estimated 250,000 residents and visitors to begin evacuating the Outer Banks barrier islands. And Virginia’s governor ordered a mandatory evacuation for some residents of low-lying coastal areas.
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