More than 1 million to flee as Florence rips toward East Coast

More than 1 million to flee as Florence rips toward East Coast

More than 1 million to flee as Florence rips toward East Coast

TODAY weather forecast Al Roker warned residents on the East Coast to prepare for tropical force winds and up to 20 inches of rain if the storm moves inland.

The storm may affect millions this week in the southeastern US, including North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

Maximum sustained winds were clocked at 140 miles per hour (220 kph) as it moved west-northwest at 13 miles per hour (20 kph).

For many, the challenge could be finding a safe refuge: If Hurricane Florence slows to a crawl just off the coast, it could carry torrential rains up into the Appalachian mountains, causing flash floods, mudslides and other unsafe weather across a wide area.

The center of Florence was forecast to sweep between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday before making its assault on the US coast.

"Florence is quickly becoming a powerful hurricane", The National Hurricane Center said in a statement Monday morning.

Florence is now projecting hurricane-force winds (74 mph and higher) up to 30 miles from its center.

"Data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that Florence has continued to rapidly strengthen". Since reliable record-keeping began more than 150 years ago, North Carolina has been hit by only one Category 4 hurricane: Hazel, with 130 miles per hour winds, in 1954.

It is also located 1,240 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, according to the NHC. In terms of size, the hurricane measures around 500 miles wide, which will result in a massive landfall area when it is expected to hit Thursday and Friday.

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The governor said residents should prepare for ocean surge, strong winds, and inland flooding.

Major flooding is predicted for a vast swath of land from Roanoke, Virginia to Charlotte, North Carolina. We will experience tropical storm-force winds as early as Wednesday evening. The National Hurricane Center will likely start to issue warnings for Florence Tuesday.

"This means winds jumped up from 75 mph to 130 mph in just 25 hours ending 12 p.m. EDT Monday".

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". Its projected landfall is "still fluctuating depending on which models you look at". Gusty winds and heavy rainfall were expected this weekend for the island nation.

"Florence is a threat well beyond our coast", Cooper said.

Florence is being felt along the North Carolina coast with large sea swells.

The U.S. Navy said it was sending almost 30 ships from coastal Virginia out of port to ride out the storm.

Hurricane Florence is seen from the International Space Station as it churns in the Atlantic Ocean towards the east coast of the United States, September 10, 2018.

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