Track Hurricane Florence as it heads for the East Coast

Hurricane Florence track

Mandatory evacuations issued for Outer Banks ahead of Florence

Lanes traveling on I-26 between Charleston and Columbia will all travel away from Charleston toward Columbia.

Rainfall: Florence's rains may present an outsized risk to coastal and inland communities in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. Palmetto Breeze provides public transportation services in five Lowcountry counties. Panovich forecasts the storm will reach close to Category 4 status with the potential of 140 miles per hour winds.

A strengthening Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall on Thursday, bringing with it potentially catastrophic storm surges, winds and flooding.

President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC, facilitating federal help, and cancelled campaign events Thursday and Friday, citing the storm.

The center of the massive storm is then forecast to meander Thursday, Friday and Saturday over a stretch of coastline saturated by rising seas, inundating several states and triggering life-threatening floods.

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Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said: "This storm is going to be a direct hit on our coast".

"NOAA Hurricane Hunter plane investigating Florence found that its winds had increased to 130 miles per hour late Monday morning", said The Weather Channel.

It's not just North Carolina that is "taking Hurricane Florence seriously", either, in SC and Virginia residents have also declared states of emergency following the updates on the storm.

The water could rise 6 to 12 feet in the area of Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, including the Neuse and Pamlico rivers, says the National Hurricane Center. "We are taking Hurricane Florence seriously".

The storm threatened to hit coastal North and SC with 130 mile-per-hour (215 kph) winds and massive waves when it makes landfall on Friday, and its rains will take a heavy toll for miles inland, the National Hurricane Center in Miami warned.

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The majority of flooding from the storm surge is caused by a phenomenon known as the Coriolis effect.

Other impacts, like potential rain, depend upon what Florence does after it makes landfall, the meteorologist said. Tuesday morning's data from hurricane-hunting aircraft supports this forecast, the center said.

"We don't know how far the winds and the rain will go", McMaster said.

Kim Stenson, director of the S.C. Emergency Management Division, said 28 shelters are opening or expected to open soon with the capacity of sheltering about 25,000 people.

In the Pacific, Hurricane Olivia triggered warnings for multiple Hawaiian islands as it blew west toward an arrival over the state as soon as late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

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