North Carolina Declares State of Emergency as Tropical Storm Florence Nears East Coast, Expected to Become Hurricane

Tropical Storm Florence drew closer to the East Coast overnight and was expected to restrengthen to a hurricane on Saturday night as it became better organized, forecasters said. The storm reached major hurricane status on Wednesday, peaking with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph.

The approaching storm prompted North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to declare a state of emergency, a step that makes resources available for addressing the storm’s effects.

In an 11 a.m. ET Saturday update, the National Hurricane Center [NHC] placed the storm southeast of Bermuda, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. It was moving west at 7 mph.

The NHC said the center of Florence will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday before approaching the southeastern U.S. coast on Thursday. The NHC said Florence was expected to become a major hurricane by Tuesday.

The storm was expected to bring heavy rain, dangerous surf and rip currents to North Carolina, where Cooper called on residents, specifically farmers, to make preparations.

Gov. Cooper declares state of emergency ahead of tropical storm:

“While it’s still too early to know the storm’s path, we know we have to be prepared,” Cooper said in a news release. “During harvest, time is of the essence. Action today can avoid losses due to Florence.”

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SOURCE: Paulina Dedaj
Fox News