South Carolina orders mandatory evacuation of entire coast ahead of Hurricane Florence

Once it makes landfall, Florence is predicted to stall and remain over North Carolina for at least 24 hours - increasing the threat of risky flooding, NHC director Ken Graham said on Monday.

The Meteorological Service of Jamaica said at 4:00 am Sunday, Tropical Storm Isaac was centred about 2,475 kilometers east of the Windward Islands.

Hurricane Florence is the first of what looks like could be a trio of storms to hit the USA in rapid succession.

Hurricane Olivia continues on a path toward the Hawaiian Islands and has prompted a tropical storm warning for Hawaii and Maui counties.

Where is the hurricane now?

The storm has 115 mph winds and is located 580 miles south-southeast of Bermuda and is moving west at 13 mph.

According to the noon-time update from the NHC, operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Florence now has sustained winds of almost 130 miles per hour and has no become what the agency considers "a major hurricane".

Only ten hurricane have made landfall on the Southeast coast since 1851, and if Florence hits North Carolina as a Category 4 it will be the strongest storm to ever come ashore that far north. Since reliable record-keeping began more than 150 years ago, North Carolina has only been hit by one Category 4 hurricane: Hazel, with 210 km/h winds in 1954.

What else should I know?

Virginia, North and SC have declared states of emergency ahead of the storm.

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

"We do not want to risk one SC life in this hurricane", Governor Henry McMaster said at a news conference. All three states have declared states of emergency. It was upgraded to a Category 4 storm on Monday, with sustained winds at 130 miles per hour that are expected to increase further. They urged residents to prepare - a request that ranges from fortifying homes and gathering supplies to preparing for possible evacuation orders.

“Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda and are beginning to reach portions of the US East Coast.

Residents anywhere along the East Coast should pay attention to and prepare for the storm, as meteorologists say it could cause extremely heavy rain and rip currents up and down the Atlantic coast.

"It's too early at this point to be precise with how these impacts are going to stack up", he said, "but there is a huge potential someone is going to sustain devastating impacts as a result of this storm". Florence is predicted to make landfall Thursday.

  • Joey Payne