The National Hurricane Center forecasts additional strengthening for Florence before it reaches the coastline of North Carolina and SC early Friday, Sept. 14. Tropical Storm Isaac was east of the Lesser Antilles and expected to pass south of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and Cuba, while Hurricane Helene was moving northward away from land.
Hurricane conditions will likely hit on Friday, but tropical storm conditions will arrive on Thursday, according to the hurricane center.
"Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion", the agency says.
The ban is the result of an executive order signed by city manager John Pedersen and issued pursuant to the city's State of Emergency that was declared september 9. Heavy rains were forecast to extend into the Appalachians, affecting parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.
Industrial waste, including toxic ash from power plants, could also be spread by flooding from the massive storm, which has caused mandatory evacuations of coastal areas in both Carolinas and Virginia, the AP reports.
When it reaches the coastline, it could sit around for days, unloading life-threatening storm surge, unsafe winds and flooding rain.
On Monday, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ordered the medical evacuation of all hospitals in flood zones in Myrtle Beach, which led to Grand Strand Medical Center transferring patients to sister hospitals, including Doctors Hospital of Augusta.
Check your flight | Atlanta airport preparing for flight changes ahead of Florence
President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in North and SC , thus facilitating federal aid to those states. Even normal water is warm enough for a storm to form there, but this adds to the storm's fuel and its rainfall.
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Evacuations in United States ahead of Hurricane Florence
At least nine nuclear facilities also lie in the storm's path, including Duke Energy's Brunswick nuclear plant in North Carolina. About 10 million people live in areas that were under either hurricane or tropical storm warnings and watches Thursday.
Meteorologists have given Hurricane Florence, which is now heading towards the United States, a category four level strength, meaning the storm could cause major structural damage costing millions.
"An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft that was in the hurricane until just after midnight" recorded a peak wind gust of around 150 miles per hour, according to the hurricane center. Florence is now heading for ocean water with surface temperatures of around 85 degrees, meaning it will likely strengthen on its way to the East Coast.
Satellite images show the storm has maintained a distinct eye and is well organized.
Maximum sustained winds are approaching 130mph, with higher gusts expected.
"I've been through hurricanes before but never with kids", she said.
"While some weakening is expected on Thursday, Florence is forecast to be an extremely risky major hurricane through landfall", the NHC said.
A state of emergency has been declared in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington amid concern over potential torrential rain and flooding.