Airlines Preparing for Impact of Hurricane Florence

International Space Station by astronaut Ricky Arnold shows Hurricane Florence over the Atlantic Ocean in the early morning hours of September 6

That's a reference to the infamous storm that came ashore just north of Charleston, S.C.in late September 1989 as a category three system - killing almost three dozen SC residents and doing an estimated $10 billion worth of damage.

Florence is now one of three hurricanes spinning in the Atlantic Ocean, along with Helene and Isaac.

Last night, The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's hurricane hunter has found that Florence is strengthening, and is forecast to become a major hurricane on Monday. Most other reports are using the word "catastrophic", in keeping with how the National Hurricane Center describes a Category 4 hurricane: "catastrophic damage will occur".

Florence is now a category two hurricane but is expected to become a major hurricane by the end of today. Its center will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday and approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said. One model the weather service uses shows Florence making landfall along the southern Outer Banks, then interacting with a low-pressure trough moving across the Great Lakes that steers the storm back out to sea early next week, Wimberley said.

The governors of North and SC and Virginia declared states of emergency far ahead of the approaching storm. Landfall may be Thurs.

Hurricane Florence, Helene, Isaac in the Atlantic
Hurricane Florence was traveling over warm Atlantic waters and gaining energy as it moved 625 miles southeast of Bermuda Monday. Tropical storm winds are forecast to hit the region sometime Thursday morning, with landfall occurring late Thursday night.

Landfall, at this early point, is expected to be late this week in a zone from Charleston to Cape Hatteras, with wind and rain possible across most of the Carolinas.

The center of Florence was forecast to sweep between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday before making its assault on the USA coast. Hurricane Florence's offshore winds are causing swells and rip currents up and down the coast.

A Category 4 hurricane with 130 miles per hour winds is bearing down on the US East Coast, bringing a risk of devastating floods.

Accuweather's Alex Sosnowski noted that the storm will also affect the mid-Atlantic region.

Several meteorologists said Florence could do what Hurricane Harvey did a year ago over Texas, dumping days of rain, although not quite as bad.

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The mayor of Richmond has declared a state of emergency as Virginia's capital city braces for significant rain from Hurricane Florence. The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office has not announced any road blocks ahead of Hurricane Florence as of Monday afternoon.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said at a press conference that the state is in the "bullseye" of the hurricane, according to The Raleigh News and Observer.

"You never know, there could be tree missiles coming from any direction", she said. Tropical storm force winds could be felt in Charlotte from this system. 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.

Ryan Deeck, a Walmart grocery department manager in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, said, according to Myrtle Beach Online: "Literally, they are filling buggies full of water, shopping carts full of water".

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