South Carolina Coast Ordered To Evacuate Ahead Of Hurricane Florence

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Kim Buttrick, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said Florence and the two other hurricanes now over the Atlantic - Isaac and Helene - are not expected to have any direct impact on New England.

An average hurricane season includes at least 12 named storms - which may be less powerful than full-fledged hurricanes - and six hurricanes, with three of those being major storms. The University of North Carolina Wilmington announced it has canceled classes and issued a voluntary evacuation for students starting at noon today. Its center will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said his state is "in the bull's-eye" and urged people to "get ready now".

Meanwhile, Pentagon spokesman, Col. Robert Manning said, "Northern Command is spending an advanced team to the emergency operations center in Raleigh, North Carolina Monday to conduct an assessment and coordinate with federal and state partners".

Beyond the damage from wind and high surf, Hurricane Florence is anticipated to slow over the Carolinas where it might dump up to 30 inches of rain over quite a bit of North and SC.

Florence remains a category 4 hurricane. A westward motion with a slight increase in forward speed is expected through the end of the week.

This week, most major USA airlines are waiving change fees for passengers whose plans change because they are flying to or from cities in the path of Hurricane Florence.

It was centered about 1,230 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west at 13 mph.

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The hurricane center warned that the swells are likely to cause "life-threatening" surf and current conditions.

Helene, a Category 2 storm, had sustained winds of 105 miles per hour in the mid-eastern Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center said in its latest update Tuesday. "Don't wait", said Greg Postel, a hurricane expert at the Weather Channel.

"The centre of Hurricane Isaac was located near latitude 14.7 North, longitude 43.9 West. Isaac was moving towards the west near 14 miles per hour". The first shows the probability of tropical storm force winds and the second map shows the probability of hurricane force winds. Any Category 3, 4 or 5 hurricane is classified as a major hurricane.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 105 miles per hour with higher gusts.

Florence has been classified as Category 4 storm with sustained winds of around 140mph (220km/h). The NHC expects Isaac to weaken as it approaches the Caribbean.

"We're just making plans to secure the hotel and get on the road as soon as possible", Binot said last night.

Forecasts call for between 25 and 38 cm of rain in the hardest-hit areas, possibly more if the storm stalls over land, as expected, Graham said.

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