Hurricane Florence's path: Track the storm here

Hurricane Florence's path: Track the storm here

Hurricane Florence's path: Track the storm here

Florence strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane on Monday.

Florence was 575 miles (925 kilometers) south-southeast of Bermuda and the center of the hurricane was forecast to pass between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday, the NHC said. A storm with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour classifies as a Category 3 major hurricane, according to the NHC.

As of Monday evening, Florence is moving west northwest at 13 miles per hour and heading over warmer waters and less wind shear, which is conducive for maintaining or gaining intensity. The current forecast track suggests the hurricane will most likely approach North Carolina or SC on Thursday as it gathers speed.

The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia on Sunday declared states of emergency, as residents and local governments alike braced for Florence's wrath. The governors of Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland have done the same.

As coastal communities up and down the East Coast prepare for the worst this weekend from Hurricane Florence, Massachusetts need not join them in filling up sandbags and stocking up on bottled water.

And with little wind shear to pull the storm apart, Florence's hurricane wind field was expected to expand over the coming days, increasing its storm surge and inland wind threats, and raising the likelihood of life-threatening freshwater flooding.

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The vessels will get underway from Naval Station Norfolk and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek to avoid potential damage from winds and tidal surges, said Colonel Rob Manning a Pentagon spokesman. The rapidly growing hurricane-currently circling Bermuda-is expected to make contact with the East Coast early Thursday morning, predicted Wes Hohenstein, chief meteorologist at CBS 17.

"While our state is not under any current weather advisories, in Florida, we know how quickly a major storm can shift its path and we cannot leave preparedness up to chance".

Hurricane Helene is in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean and not expected to be near any land. Ilija Cesal told the newspaper he wouldn't worry about buying extra water or other supplies for a few more days. It could hang over the area with a prolonged rain.

All of Hatteras Island was under mandatory evacuation order and other parts of the Outer Banks will have to evacuate by 7 a.m. EDT (1100 GMT) on Tuesday, Dare County Emergency Management said in a statement.

Historically, 90 per cent of fatalities from hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical depressions have been caused by water, NHC spokesman Dennis Feltgen said. With winds of 75 miles per hour, it's expected to strengthen a bit before weakening as it approaches the Lesser Antilles on Thursday and Friday.

Hurricane Florence will make its way westward, likely toward the Carolinas later this week while Hurricane Isaac moves westward toward the Caribbean.

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