Northam declares state of emergency ahead of Tropical Storm Florence

Terry Joseph
September 10, 2018

Tropical Depression Nine became Tropical Storm Isaac on Saturday afternoon over the eastern tropical Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center said.

A "rapid intensification" was expected to begin Sunday.

The National Hurricane Center said Saturday that Florence will start to rapidly intensify Sunday, and be a major hurricane by Tuesday.

The latest projected path shows a cone that spans from the northern part of Florida to about the middle of North Carolina's coast.

The NHC said the vast storm had maximum sustained winds of almost 75 miles per hour (120 kph), reaching up to 125 miles from its center, as it tracked west-northwestward across the western Atlantic.

Florence's effects were already being felt along the coast, with risky swells and rip currents in some spots.

Bermuda and the US East Coast are beginning to see the first impacts of Florence. The storm's about 760 miles southeast of Bermuda and moving west at 6 mph. SC governor Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency on Saturday, in order to give his state time to prepare for the possible arrival of a hurricane.

"The risk of other direct impacts associated with Florence along the US East Coast next week has increased".

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"State emergency management, transportation, health experts and others are making sure North Carolina is prepared for the storm, and I urge the public to review your emergency plans and gather your supplies now", the release quoted Cooper.

Graphic illustration and forecast of Tropical Storm Isaac as at September 9 2018.

Officials in the Carolinas warned residents to prepare and to brace for impact. Major hurricanes are those reaching Category 3 or higher, meaning sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour.

It said maximum sustained winds have increased to near 65 miles per hour (with higher gusts) and that additional strengthening is forecast.

A very strong ridge is forecast to build over the northwestern Atlantic during the next few days, which should steer Florence west-northwestward at a much faster forward speed.

A landfall is expected Thursday night or Friday morning along the coast of SC or North Carolina. Advisories warning of risky beach conditions or coastal flooding were in effect for parts of New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Currently, there are no coastal warnings or watches for the storm.

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