Henry McMaster, governor of SC, warned the U.S. should be braced for the hurricane to hit. Hurricane Florence was upgraded to a category 4 hurricane today (category 5 is the highest level), with maximum sustained winds around 130 miles per hour. He told The Chronicle Sunday that once Florence hits land, destructive winds and enormous rainfall flooding may take hold of the area.
"Over the next day or so, the situation will become clearer and we'll communicate plans as they develop", Moneta wrote.
Food, bottled water, flashlight batteries and plywood flew off the shelves at stores throughout the mid-Atlantic, and in coastal Charleston, SC, city officials were handing out sandbags to residents. "These tropical storms and hurricanes are very unsafe".
A mandatory evacuation order has been issued for residents living along the entire SC coast. Read on to see maps of Hurricane Florence's track along with the current projected path. Hurricanes are a bit unpredictable at this stage, so stay tuned as details can change over time.
As of 5 a.m. ET Monday, Hurricane Florence's center was about 625 miles southeast of Bermuda and was moving west-northwest at a speed of 9 mph.
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On North Carolina's Outer Banks, Dawn Farrow Taylor, 50, was gathering photos and important documents and filling prescriptions Monday before heading inland.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 10 miles from the center and tropical-storm force winds extend outward up to 45 miles, the NHC said.
As of Monday night, the president had not yet declared a state of emergency in Virginia, which is also expected to receive damaging rains and winds after the storm makes landfall. "We know we can't play around with this", said Jennifer Oosterwyk, who owns the Sugar Britches boutique on Holden Beach and lives in nearby Wilmington. They've been around for 500 years, after all, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund (CWHF) said on Facebook Monday.
Immediately to the north of Virginia, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said his state was also was "preparing for the potential of historic, catastrophic and life-threatening flooding".
The storm is moving west or 280 degrees at 13 miles per hour.
Hurricane season officially peaks today: September 10.