Storm Helene to batter NI as severe weather warning is issued

Storm Helene to batter NI as severe weather warning is issued

It is predicted the Carolinas could begin feeling tropical storm force winds early Thursday.

Officials warned there was a chance of "life-threatening inundation from rising water" as the hurricane is due to hit land on Friday.

As of Tuesday evening, this storm is a Category Four and is expected to remain strong as it heads towards the coast of North Carolina.

Rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches are forecast across southeastern Puerto Rico, while totals of 1 to 2 inches with maximum amounts of 3 inches are possible across the remainder of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The storm has nothing to weaken it in it's path until it reaches landfall.

Rain projections also increased, with some locations along the North Carolina coast now expected to get up to 40 inches.

The public is also advised to take care near to the coastline, with injuries from large waves and beach material being thrown onto the seafront. Strengthening is forecast through Wednesday.

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President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.

Sustained winds on Tuesday afternoon approached 105 miles per hour, making it a very strong Category 2 storm, though it was expected to gradually weaken over cooler waters. Although Olivia is expected to move over the islands as a tropical storm, it could still bring worse impacts than recent Hurricane Lane to some areas, the center said.

The implications of a major landfalling hurricane are devastating.

As indicated by the National Hurricane Center (NHC), tropical Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm with 140 miles per hour winds, is required to make landfall somewhere close to North Carolina, South Carolina, and the Mid-Atlantic states on Thursday night or Friday morning. A steady stream of vehicles filled with people and belongings is moving inland.

There is increased fear that Florence "will slow considerably or stall, leading to a prolonged and exceptionally heavy and risky rainfall event Friday-Sunday", the NHC said Tuesday.

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