- Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the East Coast, bringing 105 mph winds and a risk of flooding.
- Behind Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Isaac and Hurricane Helene are both swirling in the Atlantic.
- Officials in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina have issued emergency warnings ahead of Florence’s possible landfall.
A Category 4 hurricane with 105 mph winds is bearing down on the US East Coast, bringing a risk of devastating floods – and there are two more hurricanes behind it.
Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall somewhere between North Carolina, South Carolina, and the Mid-Atlantic states on Thursday evening or Friday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
The hurricane could remain powerful as it passes over the US mainland, the NHC warned on Monday morning.
“There is an increasing risk of two life-threatening impacts from Florence: storm surge at the coast, freshwater flooding from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event inland, and damaging hurricane-force winds,” the NHC warned.
As of 11 a.m. EDT on Monday, Florence has been upgraded to a Category 4 storm. Its center is located about 580 miles southeast of Bermuda. The NHC expects the hurricane’s winds to strengthen to 130 mph as it moves east by Tuesday, drawing energy from the warm water.
The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia have issued emergency warnings in advance of the storm.
“Pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of South Carolina and is going to go way inshore,” South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said, according to the Associated Press.
Residents of North Carolina’s low-lying barrier islands say they have already felt the impacts of Hurricane Florence.
“I don’t think many of us have ever been through a Category 4. And out here we’re so fragile. We’re just a strip of land – we’re a barrier island. … Already we’re getting some overwash, the ocean is coming over 12,” Dawn Farrow Taylor, a resident of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, told the Associated Press.
Hurricane troubles may not end with Florence. Hurricane Isaac has wind speeds of over 75 mph as of Monday morning. The NHC expects Isaac to weaken as it approaches the Caribbean.
Behind Isaac, Hurricane Helene is rapidly gaining strength, with wind speeds of over 105 mph. Helene is moving in a west-northwest direction at 16 mph, as of 11 a.m. EDT Monday.
Here’s what the storms look like from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite:
Here’s another view, with Florence on the left, then Isaac, and then Helene:
And here are the positions of all three hurricanes, as of Monday morning: