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Hurricane Florence will hit the southeastern U.S.as "a large and extremely unsafe hurricane", the National Hurricane Center says, after the storm quickly strengthened on Monday.

The latest storm track released by the National Weather Service shows Florence moving inland Friday morning as a weaker hurricane, and possibly continuing west into central North Carolina Saturday morning.

Where is the hurricane now?

So it may shift over the coming days, but if predictions hold, Florence is set to be the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in North Carolina since Hurricane Hugo tore through the state in 1989. The hurricane is registering maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour.

Florence is now a category 4 hurricane.

Emergency personnel and employers are also keeping an eye on Hurricane Olivia-which forecasters say may weaken in intensity to a tropical storm-expected to hit Hawaii as soon as Tuesday.

What else should I know?

Over the weekend, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia all declared a state of emergency in preparation for the storm because weather models have almost hit a consensus on where the storm is headed.

"We are not going to gamble with the lives of the people of South Carolina", McMaster said.

Price gouging amid natural disasters and other emergencies should be reported to state attorneys general.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said his state was "in the bullseye" of the storm and urged people to "get ready now".

Tropical Storm Florence continues its churn toward USA coast
Additional strengthening is forecast for the next couple of days and Helene is expected to become a hurricane on Sunday. Most of the models are now showing Florence having a direct and major impact to the East Coast in the upcoming week.

Florence - which was 1,200 miles (2,000km) southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, on Monday morning - started the day as a category two storm.

The vessels will get underway from Naval Station Norfolk and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek to avoid potential damage from winds and tidal surges, Pentagon spokesman Colonel Rob Manning said. So far, mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for residents and visitors in some coastal areas of the state, while other counties only issued them for those in low lying and "flood prone" areas.

The storm is expected to produce 3 to 5 inches of rain across Martinique, Dominica, and Guadeloupe, with near 10 inches possible in isolated areas, forecasters said.

Olivia's maximum sustained winds are about 60 miles per hour, after the storm weakened from Category 1 strength, forecasters said.

According to the North Carolina Emergency Management agency on September 9, there is now an "increasing risk of life-threatening impacts: storm surge at coast, flooding inland ..."

He says coastal and low-lying areas are of particular concern, as well as parts of the state that already have received substantial rainfall over the last few days.

The U.S. military said it was sending an advance team to Raleigh, North Carolina, to coordinate with federal and state partners.

"To the incredible citizens of North Carolina, South Carolina and the entire East Coast - the storm looks very bad!" Like Haley, McMaster also closed schools and government offices across the Midlands region of SC in order to allow roadways to accommodate the exodus from the coast.

Accuweather's Alex Sosnowski noted that the storm will also affect the mid-Atlantic region.


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