Hurricanes Isaac and Florence continue to pose problems for Caribbean countries

Terry Joseph
September 12, 2018

A continued west-northwestward motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected through late Tuesday, followed by a turn toward the northwest and then north-northwest on Wednesday and Thursday.

Maps of the storm's trajectory showed it likely to come ashore somewhere near the border of North Carolina and SC. Moving west-northwest near 17 miles per hour with a turn to the northwest expected on Wednesday, Helene is not expected to pose any threat to land.

The NHC's 11 a.m. advisory says that Helene is forecasted to become a major hurricane by Monday night.

All government services will remain in operation tomorrow as Hurricane Florence passes to the south of the island. Its center will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday and approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said.

In Guam, Typhoon Mangkhut - a Category 4 storm - narrowly missed dealing a direct blow to the island.

"Florence is quickly becoming a powerful hurricane", hurricane specialist Eric Blake wrote.

Florence isn't the only storm in the sea though.

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warned that Florence was forecast to linger over the Carolinas once it reaches shore.

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Still closer to Africa than North America, Hurricane Helene is predicted to head northeast in the Atlantic, then veer toward Europe, the center said. "It's going to destroy homes", said Jeff Byard, an official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The GOES-East weather satellite, which keeps a constant eye on the East Coast and the Atlantic, has captured some breathtaking images of Hurricane Florence, Tropical Storm Isaac and Hurricane Helene approaching the Americas (in that order). Moving toward the west-northwest near 9mph on the forecast track, the centre of Florence will approach the southeastern coast of the United States on Thursday.

Isaac gets into Caribbean in a few days as a hurricane but doesn't look like it will last to become a big storm. "We're just a strip of land - we're a barrier island", she said.

Mandatory coastal evacuations were in effect for civilians in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, but the military base posted on Facebook that different chains-of-command would decide whether to release non-essential personnel, and some relatives vented fears that they wouldn't be able to evacuate in time.

Hurricane Helene is way out over the open Atlantic and heading northward into more open waters.

The US military said it was sending an advance team to Raleigh, North Carolina, to coordinate with state and local authorities.

Initial predictions didn't quite pan out this year - so far, we've had nine named storms and five hurricanes. It is moving west at 14 miles per hour (mph) and has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.

Two other storms were spinning in the Atlantic as the 2018 hurricane season reaches its peak.

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