Hurricane Florence expected to gain strength on path to Carolinas

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(WSPA) – Hurricane Florence remains a powerful, Category 4 storm with winds near 130 miles per hour.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the storm’s center was about 670 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, N.C. as of 11 PM Tuesday.

Florence is moving toward the west-northwest and will continue to increase in speed over the coming days and strengthen close to category 5 strength.

The NHC has issued hurricane and storm surge watches from Edisto Beach in South Carolina to the coast near the North Carolina-Virginia state line. 

The center of the storm will approach the coast of North Carolina or South Carolina on Thursday, according to the NHC. 

It could be the strongest hurricane since Hazel hit North Carolina. The category 4 storm killed 19 people and destroyed thousands of buildings in 1954, the Associated Press reports.

The category 4 hurricane is expected to drop more than 15 inches of rain over parts of the Carolinas and Virginia through Saturday.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ordered a mandatory evacuations of the coast.

NC Governor Roy Cooper ordered a mandatory evacuation of the NC coast.

Lane reversals begin at noon today.

LANE REVERSALS AND EVACUATION ROUTES:

Charleston to Columbia: A full four-lane reversal on I-26 in Charleston will begin at the interchange of I-26 and I-526. The full reversal continues west until the I-26 crossover to I-77 just outside Columbia in Lexington County. SCDOT officials said eastbound lanes of I-26 from Columbia to Charleston will close at 5 a.m. to facilitate the lane reversals.

Horry County: Horry County has two four-lane reversals along US 501: SC 544 to US 378; and US 501: Between SC 22 (Conway Bypass) to SC 576 near Marion County.

The Beaufort and Hilton Head area will also be ready to reverse US 278 and US 21 if traffic conditions warrant.

Anyone with questions about Hurricane Florence is asked to call the state’s Public Information Phone System at 1-866-246-0133.


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