Carolinas brace for extremely dangerous Hurricane Florence

Experts have forecast the upgraded tropical storm will gather force - going from a category 1 hurricane to a category 3 on Monday morning.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) says Florence has the makings of an "extremely dangerous" meteorological event, the BBC reports.

Where is the hurricane now?

The Miami-based center said in its 5 a.m. ET advisory that Florence was about 625 miles (1,005 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda, moving west northwest at 9 mph (15 kmh).

At 11 a.m. EDT, the hurricane center said Florence's maximum sustained winds were estimated to be 75 miles per hour.

The center of the hurricane is predicted to move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas by Wednesday and could intensify into a Category 4 storm, with winds reaching 130-156 miles per hour, before it makes US landfall sometime Thursday or early Friday.

The NHC issued a warning Monday morning, explaining when powerful gusts may approach. The center warns that such storms will snap or uproot most trees and down power poles and that power can be out in some areas for weeks or months.

What else should I know?

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States of emergency have already been declared in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia due to possible impact from the storm.

Mr Cooper said he had asked Mr Trump to declare a federal state of emergency for North Carolina.

"We are preparing for the worst, and of course hoping for the best", South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said, as reported by CNN. If the strength continue to rise, Florence will be one of just three storms in the records to have winds of 150 miles-per-hour this far north, said Phil Klotzbach, a Colorado State University hurricane researcher.

Currently Florence is forecast to remain a tropical storm for the next day or so, after which steady intensification back to hurricane Florence is anticipated.

Residents as far north as Virginia were warned that Florence could bring a life-threatening coastal storm surge, as well as inland flooding from "prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall", the NHC said.

Dare County officials ordered everyone to leave Hatteras Island on Monday.

If you live along the US coast from the Southeast to the Mid-Atlantic, you need to prepare for what increasingly looks like a worst case scenario: landfall of a Category 3 or even 4 hurricane.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of National Security said: “The ministry is reminding that all public services, including government offices, public transport and public schools will be open and operational.

  • Douglas Reid