Free Press Journal

Florence likely to head to US

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Miami : Hurricane Florence is expected to become a dangerous “major hurricane” by late Monday as it heads toward the US East Coast, the National Hurricane Centre said, as states of emergency were declared in preparation for the storm. The centre of Florence was located about 1,100 kms southeast of Bermuda, the NHC in its 0300 GMT Monday advisory. Florence had maximum sustained winds of 90 mph, making it a Category 1 storm on the five-level Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale.

The NHC warned Florence “is forecast to rapidly strengthen to a major hurricane by Monday night, and is expected to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday.” The storm is moving towards the west at 7 mph, and is forecast to drench a large swath of the US East Coast running from northern Florida to New Jersey.

On its current track Florence is expected to slam the Carolinas and Virginia the hardest — and all three states have issued emergency declarations to speed preparations. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s office described Florence as possibly the state’s “most significant hurricane event in decades,” warning of “catastrophic inland flooding, high winds and possible widespread power cuts.”