How to find the latest path predictions and updates

TROPICS: Florence expected to produce damaging winds in Carolinas

TROPICS: Florence expected to produce damaging winds in Carolinas

The storm quickly intensified to a major hurricane late Monday morning and is now a very risky category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour. According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm is expected to be a "large and extremely unsafe hurricane" when it arrives on the USA coast.

Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 miles per hour. The official forecast provided by the National Hurricane Center indicates the storm could be just shy of a catastrophic category 5 hurricane by Tuesday afternoon with winds of 155 miles per hour.

McMaster declared a state of emergency on Saturday, a day after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) made a similar declaration for his state.

The storm is expected to reach SC and North Carolina later this week. The last was Hurricane Fran in 1996, which came ashore near Wilmington.

The NWS is predicting "life-threatening" storm surge and inland freshwater flooding, with some models predicting upwards of 2ft of rainfall. That means sustained winds of at least 130 miles per hour and expectations of catastrophic damage, the hurricane center says.

Here's another look at the projected path showed the center of the storm hitting near the North Carolina cities of Raleigh, Charlotte, and Greensboro.

Central North Carolina's coastal counties are bracing for Florence to hit the area on Thursday, bringing potential floods and a threat of tornados, according to Dare County officials.

Aaron Rodgers Just Had His All-Time Memorable Moment, Yet Again
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Heavy rain in the Washington area over the weekend has already led to flooding in historic Alexandria, Virginia, local media reported, and the National Weather Service issued a flood watch for part of the Potomac River.

Hurricane Florence is on the brink of becoming a major storm, strengthening rapidly as it rolls across the Atlantic Ocean toward the U.S. East Coast.

"This is a very risky hurricane", McMaster said, adding that the evacuation order for coastal counties was "mandatory, not voluntary".

Hurricane Isaac, much farther out to sea, has become the 5th named hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season, the hurricane center added. "They know where to go to stay high and dry and are probably in better shape right now than most of us humans who are scrambling with final preparations". Marty Bahamonde, the Director of Disaster Operations at the Office of External Affairs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), tweeted out this harrowing image of all the storms stretching from the Pacific to the Atlantic that the government is tracking.

Initial predictions didn't quite pan out this year - so far, we've had nine named storms and five hurricanes.

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

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