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4 dead as Hurricane Florence drenches the Carolinas next

15 September 2018

The Portuguese weather service said that wind gusts of up to 74 mph are possible by the weekend in the Azores, an island chain about 850 miles west of Portugal.

The National Hurricane Center's official forecast shows that if Helene can hold together, it will impact Ireland and the northern United Kingdom by early this upcoming week. Mid September is peak hurricane season and it's not unusual to have multiple storms in the ocean at the same time.

Hurricane Florence made landfall early Friday morning, prompting the National Hurricane Center to issue storm surge warnings for both Carolinas.

Tropical Storm Watches were also discontinued for St. Maarten, St. Martin, Saba and Eustatius.

At 11 a.m., the center of the system was about 190 miles east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. As it pushed past and south of Cuba it is forecasted to weaken further, into a Tropical Depression.

Its top sustained winds have dropped to 70 miles per hour (110 kph), and it's at a near standstill, moving west at just 3 miles per hour (6 kph).

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The hurricane centre said the storm will eventually break up over the southern Appalachians and make a right hook to the northeast, its rainy remnants moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England by the middle of next week. Mandatory evacuations have been issued for much of the SC and North Carolina coastline.

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is advising the public to exercise extreme caution in areas close to swamps, rivers, gullies, and other known crocodile habitats as the animals are likely to be displaced during the heavy rains.

"We should also continue to keep our brothers and sisters located in the Carolinas in our thoughts and prayers as Hurricane Florence approaches their area".

But that hasn't stopped the territory from preparing for the worst.

Besides Florence, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is monitoring four other systems now. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, in this case within 24 to 36 hours.

4 dead as Hurricane Florence drenches the Carolinas next