Hurricane Isaac maintains strength behind Florence, Helene

According to the noon-time update from the NHC, operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Florence now has sustained winds of almost 130 miles per hour and has no become what the agency considers "a major hurricane". It is projected to make landfall between Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina Thursday evening as a Category 4 Major Hurricane. At the time, Florence was a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale (which classifies hurricanes by strength on a scale of 1 to 5).

Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 miles per hour. With maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour (220 kph), Florence was due to get even stronger before making landfall on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

The storm "is too powerful and its path is too uncertain to take any chances", South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said, issuing his state's emergency declaration. The move will allow the state to use the National Guard for preparations and recovery if necessary.

"We believe that it is safer to shelter in place, since the majority of the rescue horses are still very newly tamed, not used to being stalled, and not used to being trailered", the CWHF said.

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The NHC said there is "an increasing risk of life-threatening impacts for Florence", citing "storm surge at the coast, freshwater flooding from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event inland and damaging hurricane force winds".

The airlines affected by the waivers vary from city to city, but most are now in the path of Florence as meteorologists are tracking the category 4 storm.

Florence will hit the mid-Atlantic states later in the week. Locations that have been directly hit by a category 4 hurricane in the past have been uninhabitable for weeks.

People are already filling stockpiling plywood, bottled water and other supplies.

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The State of Emergency Response Team, which includes the Emergency Management, State Highway Patrol and North Carolina National Guard, are ready to deploy.

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

"Unfortunately we have some experience", Gamecocks athletic director Ray Tanner said Saturday. To the east, Hurricanes Isaac and Helene (far right) are seen in the Atlantic Ocean.

The hurricane is about 580 miles SSE of Bermuda and 1,240 miles ESE of Cape Fear, North Carolina. For one hour on either side of high tide tonight - 11 p.m. - minor coastal flooding is expected on both sides of the river in downtown and on River Road.

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