Now is the time to prepare for Hurricane Florence

Two tropical depressions in Atlantic Article by Barbados Today Published on September 8, 2018

This storm is lined up behind Florence in the Atlantic.

WILMINGTON - Hurricane Florence has strengthened into a Category 3 storm with sustained winds of 115 miles per hour, according to the 11 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center.

A "major" hurricane is one with sustained winds of more than 110 miles per hour.

Hurricane Florence isn't the only storm churning in the Atlantic Ocean.

Winds of tropical storm force could reach Puerto Rico Thursday evening. Cotton, corn and soybean fields, along with massive hog and poultry facilities lie in Florence's forecast path.Smithfield Foods Inc., the No. 1 hog producer, and chicken producer Sanderson Farms Inc. saw North Carolina operations disrupted in 2016 in flooding from Hurricane Matthew.

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued Monday for parts of North Carolina's Outer Banks, with wider orders expected to follow later this week.

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As it nears the U.S. Atlantic shore, Florence will also benefit from "very warm" sea surface temperatures of up to 85 degrees, the National Hurricane Center said.

The forecast continues to call for Florence to slam ashore as a major - Category 3 or stronger - storm before weakening slightly, but still as hurricane, as it heads inland.

The governors of Virginia, North Carolina and SC all declared states of emergency. It was not immediately clear how many people were being evacuated.

The eye of the storm is expected to fall on Wilmington, North Carolina. As of 5 p.m., hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the storm's center, while tropical storm-force winds extend out 150 miles.

"Whatever happens, we're going to have a lot of rain and a lot of wind, even if the hurricane goes farther north", McMaster said.

Tropical depression may form in the Gulf of Mexico this week
The mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, promised residents that the city has "the pumps and the power" needed for the storm. If Gordon were to take more of a turn to the north then our forecast could change considerably by Wednesday and Thursday.

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

Florence's strongest winds were measuring 85 miles per hour, with a possible landfall as a major hurricane happening Thursday. Of the two other storms, which remain far from land, Isaac poses the most immediate risk.

A very risky situation ahead this week for parts of the East Coast.

The Navy said all ships in Virginia's coastal Hampton Roads area were preparing to leave port for open seas.

Hurricane Olivia has triggered tropical storm warnings in Hawaii, where it will likely make landfall by Tuesday or Wednesday, forecasters say.

In the Pacific, Tropical Storm Olivia is set to sweep through the Hawaiian islands Tuesday, where tropical storm watches have been posted.

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