Gov. McMaster declares state of emergency ahead of storm arrival

Hurricane Florence tracker and spaghetti models

Tropical Storm Florence has sustained winds of 70 mph Saturday evening as it is located 810 miles southeast of Bermuda.

The National Hurricane Center projects Hurricane Florence could become a major storm - classified as Category 3 or higher - by Monday.

The center also said that Hurricane Isaac, much farther out to sea, has become the 5th named hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season.

"Maximum sustained winds are near 65 miles per hour (100 km/h) with higher gusts". "Florence continues on a track to impact the United States mainland by Thursday or Friday".

A warm ocean is the fuel that powers hurricanes, and Florence will be moving over waters where temperatures are peaking near 85 degrees (30 Celsius), hurricane specialist Eric Blake wrote.

Tropical Storm Helene is just off the African coast and tropical storm warnings have been issued for the southern Cabo Verde Islands.

As of 11 a.m. Sunday, the storm was moving westward at 6 miles per hour.

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Swells generated by Florence could cause unsafe rip currents and coastal flooding Saturday in areas including coastal DE and New Jersey, the National Weather Service said.

The storm will bring with it large swells and life-threatening rip currents. "NASA research has found that cloud top temperatures that cold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall", the space agency says.

Officials warned that Florence could slow or stall on or near shore, with some forecasting models showing it could unload a foot or two of rain in places, causing devastating inland flooding.

In 1989, Hurricane Hugo grew to a Category 4 storm before coming ashore near Charleston, South Carolina, where it caused about $14.1 billion in damage when adjusted for inflation, making it the 13th costliest USA storm, according to Hurricane Center records.

A state of emergency allows the state to mobilize resources, including the Virginia National Guard, and to position people and equipment to assist in storm response and recovery efforts, according to a news release.

The governors of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia have declared emergencies.

In South Carolina, McMaster ordered the state's entire coastline evacuated starting at noon Tuesday. Cooper urged residents to "review your emergency plans and gather your supplies now".

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"Action today can avoid losses due to Florence", he said.

Helene is still a Tropical Storm.

"We don't panic, which is why we are amused that water was so depleted a week out". South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster also suspended his campaign and asked President Donald Trump for a federal emergency declaration. The evacuation zone includes the most flood-prone coastal areas, Northam said.

"I don't think many of us have ever been through a Category 4".

The U.S. Navy is sending almost 30 of its Virginia-based ships out to sea as Hurricane Florence barrels toward the Atlantic Coast.

'However, given the uncertainty in track and intensity forecasts at those time ranges, it's too soon to determine the exact timing, location and magnitude of those impacts, ' the center added. It rapidly transformed on Monday from a Category 1 storm to a potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane. The eight weeks around that date often are prime time for the conditions that fuel powerful storms.

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