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Florence turns into a hurricane while advancing towards US' southeast coast

Storm-force winds could begin buffeting the Carolina coast by Wednesday night, NHC forecasts showed

Letitia Stein | Reuters 

Hurricane Florence seen over the Atlantic Ocean (Photo: Reuters)
Hurricane Florence seen over the Atlantic Ocean (Photo: Reuters)

Florence, the sixth tropical storm in the basin this year, intensified into a on Sunday and will rapidly gain force as it churns over the open ocean toward the US East Coast, with landfall likely in the Carolinas later this week, forecasters said.

Packing maximum sustained winds of 140 kph, ranked as a Category 1 and was expected to get larger as it develops by Monday into a major hurricane, defined as Category 3 or higher on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

appeared headed for landfall on Thursday afternoon near the North Carolina-border, according to maps of the storm’s trajectory predicted by the National Center in Miami.

Storm-force winds could begin buffeting the Carolina coast by Wednesday night, NHC forecasts showed.

“Make your plans now,” Governor Henry McMaster urged residents during a Sunday afternoon news conference. “Presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of

McMaster said he had asked President Donald Trump to declare a federal emergency in South Carolina in anticipation of the storm’s arrival.

Residents as far north as were warned that posed an increased risk of life-threatening coastal storm surge, as well as flooding from heavy rainfall inland should the slow-moving storm system stall over the Southeast.

Governor also urged his state’s residents to get ready, noting the storm already was generating swelling waves and dangerous currents along the coast.

“Everyone in needs to keep a close eye on Florence and take steps now to get ready for impacts later this week,” Cooper said in a statement on Sunday.

The governors of Virginia, and South Carolina have all declared states of emergency.

The storm’s center was 1,160 km southeast of at 5 p.m. EDT on Sunday, and on a track to pass between and the Bahamas on Wednesday, the NHC said.

Forecasters were also tracking two other storms farther out in the

Tropical Storm Isaac, with maximum sustained winds of 110 kph, was expected to grow into a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday night but weaken again as it approached the Eastern Caribbean by mid-week, on a track taking it well south of Puerto Rico, the NHC said.

A third storm, Hurricane Helene, was spinning in the off West Africa’s Cabo Verde Islands with 121-kph winds on Sunday but did not appear to pose an immediate threat to land.

First Published: Mon, September 10 2018. 07:24 IST