Florence gaining steam as it approaches the Carolinas

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In North Carolina, evacuations were already underway: Dare County officials issued a mandatory evacuation on Monday for Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks, and ordered more evacuations for other areas of the county beginning Tuesday morning.

North Carolina governor Roy Cooper said his state was "in the bullseye" of the storm. "We're liable to have a whole lot of flooding".

As the eastern United States prepares for the arrival of Hurricane Florence, experts are warning that the storm may be the strongest to hit the region in decades and could pack a deadly punch.

As of Monday night, Hurricane Florence is a Category 4 storm that is expected to make landfall later this week.

On Sunday, Florence reached sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour to be classified a hurricane. Extremely risky hurricane-force winds could batter coastal locations Thursday into Friday.

Trump ordered federal assistance be made available to bolster state and local responses to the storm.

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More than 400 hundred officers from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division will be stationed in the coastal areas to help assists evacuation and protect property. "Please take all necessary precautions", Trump wrote on Twitter. "We are going to put everything else away and then we are going to put some concrete blocks in front of the doors just so rushing water and wind can't blow the doors back in", said Matthew Littleton with Casper's Marina.

Meteorologists are forecasting that Florence will continue to pick up speed before making its landfall between SC and North Carolina on Thursday as a category 3 or higher hurricane.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1, and this year was forecasted to have a slightly above-average number of storms. Finally, the hurricane force winds could spread well inland into the Carolinas as well as Virginia.

A story of this magnitude can cause cause catastrophic damage due to storm surge and destructive winds.

Cooper and his counterparts in South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland all declared states of emergency.

Forecasts call for 10 to 15 inches (25-38 cm) of rain in the hardest-hit areas, possibly more if the storm stalls over land, as expected, Graham said.

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In this September 28, 2017 photo, destroyed communities are seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico.

"You never compare storms".

The Post's weather team noted that Florence will pass over oceans that are warmer than normal, which will provide fuel and "favours at least a Category 3 hurricane landfall on the Southeast coast by week's end" (emphasis theirs).

"A west- northwestward to northwestward motion and an increase in forward speed are expected during the next couple of days".

- Today marks the peak of hurricane season, and it is definitely living up to it.

Isaac gets into Caribbean in a few days as a hurricane but doesn't look like it will last to become a big storm.

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