"The bottom line is that there is increasing confidence that Florence will be a large and extremely unsafe hurricane, regardless of its exact intensity", Blake said. That means, she said, that the Wilmington region is going to be affected by what she said is going to be a major hurricane that could reach category 4 strength, which means maximum sustained winds of 130 to 156 miles per hour. The governors of Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland have done the same.
The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia on Sunday declared states of emergency, as residents and local governments alike braced for Florence's wrath. The move will allow the state to use the National Guard for preparations and recovery if necessary.
"NOAA Hurricane Hunter plane investigating Florence found that its winds had increased to 130 miles per hour late Monday morning", said The Weather Channel.
The storm may affect thousands this week in the southeastern US, including North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
"From eight o'clock 'til two we were slammed", said Johnson, who sold scores of bags of sand over the weekend, saving just a few to barricade the store's own doors.
Florence strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane on Monday.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's office described Florence as possibly the state's "most significant hurricane event in decades", warning of "catastrophic inland flooding, high winds and possible widespread power outages".
Ex-Trump campaign aide Papadopoulos sentenced to 14 days in prison
However, reporting has suggested that he had been more involved with the campaign than the Trump team has let on. He was the first ex-Trump aide arrested in the probe into an alleged Kremlin plot to sway the 2016 USA vote.
Crystal Kirwan didn't see she had much choice as she got her family ready to leave their home Monday on the coast of North Carolina, with Category 4 Hurricane Florence threatening the state.
WILMINGTON - Hurricane Florence is now a Category 4 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center. The island state is still recovering from Hurricane Lane, which brought flooding rains to many areas last month. "While it is too soon to determine the exact timing, location, and magnitude of these impacts, interests at the coast and inland from SC into the mid-Atlantic region should closely monitor the progress of Florence, ensure they have their hurricane plan in place, and follow any advice given by local officials".
Over the next 36 hours, Florence's winds could reach 150 mph, the hurricane center says. Dare County Emergency Management officials said they'll extend the order to all residents and visitors in other areas beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday.
Lining up behind Florence, Isaac was about 1,150 miles (1,855 kilometers) east of the Windward Islands with top winds of 75 mph (120 kph) early Monday, accelerating on a path to cross into the lower Caribbean Thursday as a weak hurricane.
Helene is a Category 2 storm that's even farther off the coast than both of the other storms, but it's not expected to ever make landfall.