Hurricane Florence Projected Path: Maps to Track the Storm

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UNC-Wilmington canceled all classes and ordered a voluntary evacuation at noon on Monday.Eastern Carolina University canceled classes starting at noon on Tuesday for the remainder of the week.

Isaac is located about 1,090 miles east of the Lesser Antilles and has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, the NHC said in its latest update Monday. The storm is expected to bring 15 to 30 inches of rain. He told The Chronicle Sunday that once Florence hits land, destructive winds and vast rainfall flooding may take hold of the area.

As of 11 a.m., Florence was centered about 580 miles south-southeast of Bermuda, moving west at 13 mph.

Florence was upgraded twice Monday to Category 4, prompting numerous warnings from state officials to not underestimate the threat the storm poses.

Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall on Thursday and will most heavily impact the coastal states of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

"Over the next day or so, the situation will become clearer and we'll communicate plans as they develop", Moneta wrote.

Acknowledging that it's "too soon" to know the storm's exact path, Northam mentioned that all models show Virginia will see significant impact.

There have been six tropical storms in the Atlantic basin this year.

Mandatory evacuation orders also were issued for more than 300,000 people in North Carolina and Virginia. While the damage at landfall was catastrophic, most of the deaths and damage from Harvey were from the tremendous, record-shattering rain that fell across the Houston metro area, which caused disastrous flooding. Drawing energy from the warm water, it could have top sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (209 kph) or more by Tuesday, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said. The state's emergency management agency said it is "preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster".

Helene - 375 miles (600 kms) west of the Cape Verde islands off the African coast - had winds up to 105 mph (165 kph), and was expected to continue moving west-northwest for another couple of days, the NHC said in its 1500 GMT bulletin. Hugo was among the most intense, which made landfall in SC as a Category 4 with 140-mph winds. "People are getting frantic", manager Nadine Schrock said, adding her shop also sold out cases of bottled water.

"We are preparing for the worst and of course hoping for the best".

Storms increase in frequency and intensity by mid-August and into September as temperatures in the Atlantic climb to their highest levels, Javaheri said.

"A big question on this track is how intense the storm remains over the Research Triangle area of North Carolina - Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill", Watson said.