Hurricane Florence strengthens to Category 4: What that means for Duke, Durham

Hurricane Florence strengthens to Category 4: What that means for Duke, Durham

Hurricane Florence strengthens to Category 4: What that means for Duke, Durham

However, the National Hurricane Center predicts it could rise to 150 miles per hour winds just before landfall sometime Thursday night.

NOAA Hurricane Florence is forecast to hit the northeast coast later this week.

North Carolina State University canceled classes beginning Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. until the evening of Sunday, Sept. 16, although dining and residence halls will remain open.

North Carolina's governor issued what he called a first-of-its-kind mandatory evacuation order for North Carolina's fragile barrier islands from one end of the coast to the other.

Officials in Virginia, North Carolina, and SC have issued emergency warnings ahead of Florence's possible landfall.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said his state is "in the bullseye" and urged people to "get ready now".

Hurricane watches extend from Edisto Beach, South Carolina, northward to the North Carolina-Virginia border, including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds. The storm was located roughly 1,170 miles east-southeast of the Cape Fear region, and remained a risky Category 4 storm. Interests in the Lesser Antilles should continue to monitor Isaac during the next few days, the NHC said.

By noon Monday, Florence was centered about 1,230 miles (1,985 kilometers) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west at 13 mph (20 kph).

The United States was hit with a series of high-powered hurricanes past year, including Hurricane Maria, which killed about 3,000 people in Puerto Rico, and Hurricane Harvey, which killed 68 and caused an estimated $1.25 billion in damage from catastrophic flooding in Houston. "Don't wait", said Greg Postel, a hurricane expert at the Weather Channel.

As of Monday evening, Hurricane Florence was moving west-northwest at 13 miles per hour. Helene is now at high-end Cat 2 with 95kt sustained winds but this should be the peak intensity of the hurricane. It comes after he approved a similar declaration for North and SC, which are now in the bull's-eye of the powerful Category 4 storm. During that time, 40 to 70mph sustained winds are possible with hurricane force gusts up to 80mph.

"It's not just the coast", Graham said.

"This is going to be big", said Victoria Oliva, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington said early Monday morning.

Issac delivers swell to the Lesser Antilles as it approaches the islands and also enhances trade winds around the northeast Caribbean, helping to send swell to some of the northern coasts as well.

Helene is a Category 2 storm that's even farther off the coast than both of the other storms, but it's not expected to ever make landfall.

The eye of the massive storm is forecast to make landfall late Thursday or early Friday along a stretch of coastline already saturated by rising seas, and then meander for days.

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