Pitts: Hurricane Florence gives me a feeling both sinking and familiar

International Space Station by astronaut Ricky Arnold shows Hurricane Florence over the Atlantic Ocean in the early morning hours of September 6

"NOAA Hurricane Hunter plane investigating Florence found that its winds had increased to 130 miles per hour late Monday morning", said The Weather Channel.

Thousands have also been ordered to evacuate the outer banks of North Carolina, the Charlotte Observer reports: "A State of Emergency was declared Monday on North Carolina's Hatteras Island, with islanders and tourists leading what is expected to be a complete evacuation of coastal Dare and Hyde Counties".

The first mandatory evacuation order was issued at noon, and Cooper expects more later Monday and Tuesday. "We will experience a significant and sustained rainfall event with flooding".

Hurricane Florence is now at a Category 4. "We are taking Hurricane Florence seriously".

American Airlines said it's is monitoring three separate storms and has issued travel alerts to a total of 39 airports in different parts of the world.

Virginia, and North and SC have declared states of emergency and authorities as far north as New Jersey are warning people along the coast to take precautions, including for the possibility of flooding rains far inland.

"We have already began mobilizing our assets to respond accordingly, and we are here for you!" he tweeted.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper waived certain transportation restrictions so that farmers could harvest and move crops more quickly.

"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.

"This is good exercise", she quipped.

The National Hurricane Center is advising people in the hurricane's path to prepare for potentially life-threatening storm surges, freshwater flooding and damaging winds as Florence impacts the United States this week.

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WILMINGTON - Hurricane Florence's track takes dead aim at the Wilmington region, with landfall expected early Friday, according to an advisory posted by the National Hurricane Center Monday morning.

The NHC said it was still too soon to specify the exact timing, location, and size of the storm surge and flooding, but warned authorities to monitor the storm's progress.

"Action today can avoid losses due to Florence".

The latest GFS model shows Florence staying just offshore, bringing massive amounts of rain and heavy winds to the coast.

North Carolina residents boarded up their homes and piled cars with valuables on Monday after officials in that state and two others warned coastal areas would be hit from Hurricane Florence, the most powerful storm to take aim at the USA mainland this year.

CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said the main threat will be flooding, with predictions of 5 to 10 inches, with isolated totals of 15 inches.

"Never have we seen quite this type of a storm approach us".

The NHC also was tracking two other hurricanes farther out in the Atlantic: Category 1 Isaac and Category 2 Helene.

Forecasters said early Monday afternoon that data indicated Florence has maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour and a minimum central pressure of 946 millibars (27.93 inches).

Hurricane Isaac - which late Sunday became the fifth hurricane of the season - is heading west towards the Caribbean.

For many people, the challenge could be finding a safe refuge.

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