TROPICS: Florence expected to produce damaging winds in Carolinas

Florence becomes a hurricane as it barrels toward the U.S

An enhanced satellite image shows Hurricane Florence center in the Atlantic Ocean

National Hurricane Center's latest report shows Hurricane Florence has intensified into category 4 hurricane on Monday.

This is the most powerful storm to take aim at the U.S. mainland this year and could be upgraded to a Category Five with winds higher than 157mph.

The Atlantic hurricane season, which typically runs from June to November, caused more than $250 billion worth of damage in the United States in 2017.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper urged his state's residents to get ready, noting the storm was generating swelling waves and unsafe currents.

"Additional strengthening is expected over the next day or two, " the hurricane center said.

"Pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of SC and is going to go way inshore", McMaster advised.

Olivia Newton-John reveals new cancer fight, her third
But despite all the hardship, Olivia is keeping a positive mind and believes there are people out there who are far worse off than her.

Storm surge and hurricane watches may be issued Tuesday morning for portions of southeastern USA states, the NHC said.

"Interests along the US East Coast, particularly Florida through North Carolina, should closely monitor the progress of Florence, ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials", the NHC said. That scenario that would likely mean more impact in the Charlotte area. And with little wind shear to pull the storm apart, Florence's hurricane wind field was expected to expand over the coming days, increasing its storm surge and inland wind threats, and raising the likelihood of life-threatening freshwater flooding. Forecasters said rapid intensification is likely to begin by tonight and Florence is expected to become a major hurricane by Monday.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

The State of Emergency Response Team, which includes the Emergency Management, State Highway Patrol and North Carolina National Guard, are ready to deploy.

The United States was hit with a series of high-powered hurricanes a year ago, including Hurricane Maria, which killed some 3,000 people in Puerto Rico, and Hurricane Harvey, which killed about 68 people and caused an estimated $1.25 billion in damage with catastrophic flooding in Houston. Packing heavy winds with a maximum sustained wind speed of 130 miles per hour (195 km/h), the hurricane is slowly barreling toward the U.S. East Coast, at a speed of approximately 13 miles per hour (20 km/h). Olivia should weaken through Tuesday but remain a strong tropical storm when it reaches the Hawaiian Islands.

“As a public safety note, the south shore will experience unsettled surf conditions associated with Hurricane Florence, and the public is encouraged to use caution on those beaches.”.

Latest News