Hurricane Florence, Helene, Isaac in the Atlantic

Mandatory evacuation issued for Hatteras Island ahead of Hurricane Florence

"Some strengthening is expected during the next 36 hours, and Florence is expected to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday", the NHC said.

By 5 pm, the storm's winds had again increased to 140 miles per hour, with even stronger gusts.

"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".

"Life-threatening flash floods" are now being predicted as the storm brings "very heavy, prolonged rainfall" across a large portion of the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic, said a tweet from the National Hurricane Center.

Category 4 hurricane winds are in the 130 to 156 mile range, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Tropical storm winds are forecast to hit the region sometime Thursday morning, with landfall occurring late Thursday night.

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Hurricane Florence was traveling over warm Atlantic waters and gaining energy as it moved 625 miles southeast of Bermuda Monday.

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.

The National Hurricane Center said "some strengthening" is expected during the next 36 hours, and it is "expected to be an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday".

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

With South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster saying: "Now is the time for your family also to prepare and stay tuned for more updates". The storm will also be in a position where it can continue to collect more moisture from the Atlantic - and that's an alarming combination.

In the next 36 hours, some strengthening is expected. This map does not indicate the hurricane's size, but it does show the hurricane's current projected path.

Hurricane Florence: time to prepare
ET advisory that Florence was about 625 miles (1,005 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda, moving west northwest at 9 mph (15 kmh). The weather service estimates that the storm will take a sharp north turn into the middle of the Atlantic later in the week.

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.

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham also warned that Florence is expected to linger once onshore, downing trees, knocking out electricity and causing widespread flooding.

A NY task force, made up of NYPD and FDNY members, is sending 82 people and six canines to North Carolina to help.

"Don't concentrate on the exact forecast track of Hurricane Florence".

Preparations for Florence are intensifying up and down the densely populated coast.

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