Watches issued for Tropical Storm Isaac which could regain hurricane strength

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North and South Carolina are under a state of emergency, and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has ordered the coastline to evacuate.

Trump announced the action Tuesday.

WILMINGTON - Hurricane Florence is now a Category 4 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center. The action frees up federal funds and resources. Multiple states have already declared a state of emergency in preparation for the damaging flooding that Florence is likely to bring.

Classified as a Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane strength, Florence was the most severe storm to threaten the USA mainland this year and the first of its magnitude to target the Carolinas since 1989, when Hurricane Hugo barreled over Charleston, South Carolina. Issac is expected to reach hurricane status by midweek and remain a strong tropical storm or weak hurricane as it impacts the Caribbean islands second half of the week.

Forecasters and politicians pleaded with the public to take the warnings seriously and minced no words in describing the threat.

Concerns about the monster storm extended even into Virginia. It's big and it's vicious.

"North Carolina is taking Hurricane Florence seriously, and you should, too", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said at a press conference.

Ships undergoing maintenance and unable to leave port can add storm lines, drop anchor and disconnect power lines, according to the Navy.

Farther north into the Delmarva Peninsula, residents of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and NY and coastal and inland areas should also monitor the storm and prepare in case the forecast shifts to the north and east, officials said. "Don't bet your life on riding out a monster".

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"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". But getting out of harm's way could prove hard.

The southern East Coast of the United States is bracing itself for the arrival of Hurricane Florence. People rushed to get emergency kits ready, map out escape routes, fill sandbags and secure their homes. Beginning at noon today, the state will reverse the direction of traffic along certain evacuation routes to ease the flow of traffic away from the coast.

Two other hurricanes - Isaac and Helene - have also formed in the Atlantic Ocean.

"The building we're going to board some windows up".

Service stations started running out of gas as far west as Raleigh, with bright yellow bags, signs or rags placed over the pumps to show they were out of order.

By 11pm Monday (Tues afternoon NZT), Florence was centered about 1,745 kilometres east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west at 20 km/h.

Not only has the storm exploded in intensity, but its zone of hurricane-force winds approximately doubled in size Monday. "With time, the wind pushes the water into every nook and cranny you can think of", Graham said.

For now, it appears 10 to 15 inches of rain is possible.

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