Officials in the Carolinas warn of potential Florence impact

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Sunday, September 9, 2018

ATLANTA, Ga. (AP) -- Authorities in the Carolinas are warning residents to prepare for a potential disaster as Hurricane Florence gains strength ahead a potential landfall later in the week.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement Sunday that coastal and inland residents alike need to get ready for potentially heavy rainfall and flooding from the storm. Cooper urged residents to "review your emergency plans and gather your supplies now."

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division tweeted Sunday that officials there are "preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster." The National Hurricane Center said Florence had re-strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane Sunday as it was located about 710 miles (1,142 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda. Forecasters predicted it would become a dangerous Category 4 storm before a possible landfall Friday.

The storm's sustained winds reached 75 mph, just over the threshold for a hurricane, on Sunday morning as it was swirling across the Atlantic, about 750 miles southeast of Bermuda. It was moving west at 6 mph.

The National Hurricane Center says it is still too early to predict the hurricane's exact path, but a huge coastal area from northern Florida to North Carolina should prepare for a major hit.

AP-WF-09-09-18 1639GMT