Charleston region braces for Hurricane Florence

Charleston region braces for Hurricane Florence

Immediately to the north of Virginia, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said his state was also "preparing for the potential of historic, catastrophic and life-threatening flooding". Maximum sustained winds are near 75 miles per hour.

A Category 4 hurricane has winds of 130 to 156 miles per hour on the Saffir-Simpson Scale of Hurricane Intensity.

"(R) esidents and guests of Beaufort County will be allowed to travel within county borders, until there is a need for lane reversals on US 278 and USA 21", a Monday evening message from the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office said, urging residents to leave by Tuesday.

The NHC warned that hurricane force winds may extend 65 kilometers from the center and tropical-storm-force winds may reach 240 kilometers outward.

Hugo killed 27 people in SC and caused more than $9 billion in damage, which was the costliest hurricane on record at the time. While forecasters expect Florence to make landfall near Wilmington, North Carolina, the storm could bring heavy rains and flooding to the Historic Triangle.

The Weather Channel has reported that a "destructive strike" on the East Coast of the United States is likely, noting that, if the storm remains a Category 4 hurricane, it will only be the fourth-ever storm of that magnitude to strike the East Coast of the country. While it may or may not officially become a Category 5 storm, it will still be a major Hurricane at landfall. An estimated 250,000 more people from the northern Outer Banks were due to be sent to higher ground starting Tuesday at midday. "It is likely some areas will flood that have never flooded before".

"I know they've been constantly meeting about the hurricane", Tar Heels coach Larry Fedora said. "The winds on this one are predicted to be more powerful than the ones from Hugo".

After weakening earlier in the day, Hurricane Florence regained its punch as evening approached.

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Mindful of devastation wrought by a string of deadly US hurricanes past year, residents in the Carolinas began the rituals of disaster preparation - boarding up windows and stocking up on groceries, water and gasoline.

"Florence is. expected to remain an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday", the hurricane center warned.

It remains an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday night.

Preparations intensified up and down the densely populated coast. The storm is now about 950 miles from the Carolina coast line, but moving in that direction at about 15 mph.

The US president said he had spoken with governors of the threatened states, adding that the "federal government stands by, ready to assist 24/7".

Oosterwyk was gathering tax documents and other important papers from her store on Monday, and said she planned to drive 150 miles inland to ride out the storm in the town of Cary. While Helene is forecast to slide out to sea away from land, Isaac is a very real threat in the Caribbean later this week, the hurricane center said.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for north of the North Carolina/Virginia border to Cape Charles Light, VA, and for Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

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