Hurricane Florence: EXTREME rainfall and FORCEFUL winds threaten US East Coast

Hurricane Isaac

Florence rapidly strengthened into a potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane on Monday as it closed in on North and SC, carrying winds and water that could wreak havoc over a wide stretch of the eastern United States later this week.

"With the possibility that Tropical Storm Florence could make landfall in SC, likely as a hurricane, our people have already started making preparations", Attorney General Alan Wilson said. Some 27 percent of the deaths have come from rain-driven flooding, sometimes hundreds of miles inland.

Florence's center will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday and approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday, according to the center.

Hurricane response crews from the U.S. Geological Survey are installing storm-tide sensors at key locations along the North and SC coasts in advance of Hurricane Florence.

As Hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast of the United States, the governors of Virginia, North and SC have issued mandatory evacuation orders affecting hundreds of thousands of residents in coastal areas.

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued Monday for parts of North Carolina's Outer Banks, with wider orders expected to follow later this week.

Some officials have already begun taking early precautions.

He estimated about one million people would be fleeing the coast.

All eyes are on Hurricane Florence, now that it has intensified to a major Category 4 storm and is heading to the southeastern US coast.

The center of the strong storm is about 1,240 miles east-southeast of Bald Head Island, with the hurricane moving westward at roughly 13 mph.

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The last Category 4 storm to hit the Carolinas was Hugo, which barreled into Charleston, South Carolina, in 1989.

While Arnold and his fellow Expedition 56 crewmembers have been keeping an eye on Hurricane Florence and other Atlantic storms, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been monitoring the weather systems with its Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) series. "Please take all necessary precautions", Trump wrote on Twitter.

The current track has the storm making landfall along the Carolinas sometime Thursday night as a major hurricane. "It´s scary to all of us. We don't know what to expect with a Category 4 or 5", said Gelhaus.

Oosterwyk was gathering tax documents and other important papers from her store on Monday, and said she planned to drive 240 km inland to ride out the storm in the town of Cary.

A BP service station and mini-mart in Wilmington ran out of gasoline for about two hours on Monday as motorists rushed to fill up their tanks.

The US military said it was sending an advance team to Raleigh, North Carolina, to coordinate with federal and state partners. It said about 750 military personnel would be designated to provide support.

"People that have typically not been exposed to them will now be exposed to them, because the storms are going to move deeper inland and affect more people", climate scientist Cindy Bruyere, who studies storms at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, previously told Business Insider.

Hurricane Florence is barreling toward the east coast, on course to slam into the Carolinas this week.

Forecasters have warned of a life-threatening storm surge, along with the damage of a hurricane's high winds.

For many, the challenge could be finding a safe refuge: If 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 risky weather across a wide area.

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