Grocery stores are restocking shelves with water and bread, and supply stores are selling a lot of plywood and generators Monday as East Coast communities prepare for Hurricane Florence to strike hard later this week.
The National Weather Service at noon ET upgraded Florence to a Category 4 storm, meaning it is capable of creating “catastrophic” damage. Florence now has maximum sustained winds of 130 mph, the center said.
Further strengthening is expected, as Florence moves toward North and South Carolina, where it could unleash its fury as the most powerful storm to hit the region in three decades.
Tourists and residents were outside Sunday enjoying pleasant weather, but by Monday emergency management workers had been told to buckle up for what could be a very long week. “This storm gets stronger and stronger” and is on its way to a head-on impact on the Carolinas, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.