September 9, 2018 3:20 pm
Updated: September 9, 2018 9:42 pm

Tropical Storm Florence upgraded to hurricane as it nears U.S.

WATCH: States of emergency declared in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina as Florence becomes hurricane.


Tropical Storm Florence turned into a hurricane Sunday morning and swirled toward the U.S. for what forecasters said could be a direct hit on the Southeast toward the end of the week.

READ MORE: 3 U.S. states declare state of emergency as Tropical Storm Florence looms

WATCH BELOW: Charleston mayor says past storms have prepared them for Hurricane Florence

The storm’s sustained winds reached 121 km/h, just over the threshold for a hurricane, as it made its way across the Atlantic, about 1,210 kilometers southeast of Bermuda, the National Hurricane Center said. It was moving west at 9 km/h.

The Miami-based center said that it was still too early to predict the hurricane’s exact path but that a huge coastal area from South Carolina to the mid-Atlantic region should prepare for a major strike late in the week.

WATCH BELOW: Charleston warns residents to get ready for Hurricane Florence

“All indications are that Florence will be an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane while it moves over the western Atlantic toward the southeastern United States,” the hurricane center said. A Category 4 storm packs winds of 209 km/h or more and has the potential for catastrophic damage.

WATCH BELOW: Hurricane Florecnce is not expected to strike Canada at this point, but it is already having an effect in the Maritimes.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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