Rapidly intensifying Hurricane Florence could strike a direct and dangerous blow anywhere from the Carolinas to the Mid-Atlantic region later this week, reports the AP. Florence crossed the 74mph threshold from tropical storm to a hurricane Sunday morning. Forecasters in the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Florence was expected to become an extremely dangerous major hurricane sometime Monday and remain that way for days. It's too early to know the exact path Florence will take, but the storm could roll ashore in the Carolinas by Thursday. Authorities were taking no chances as the governors of North and South Carolina and Virginia declared states of emergency far ahead of the approaching storm.
As of 5am Eastern, Florence was centered about 625 miles southeast of Bermuda, moving west at 9mph with maximum sustained winds of 105mph. Drawing energy from the warm water, it could be a fearsome Category 4 with winds of 130mph or more by Tuesday, the center said. People up and down the densely populated East Coast were told to be ready for the worst—and not just for a possible direct blow against the coast. They warned that Florence could slow or stall on or near shore, with some forecasting models showing it could unload a foot or two of rain in places, causing devastating inland flooding. Forecasters also warned of a rising threat of life-threatening storm surge, along with the damage of a hurricane's high winds.
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