Tropics erupt as Florence, Helene and Isaac all churn in the Atlantic

Three storms churned in the Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 8 2018.               National Hurricane Center

Meanwhile, Hurricane Florence was 580 miles south, south east of Bermuda with winds of 115 mph and strengthening into a major storm.

Hogan says the declaration of emergency is a planning measure to ensure all necessary resources are mobilized in areas of the state with greatest potential need. At landfall, Florence will also slow down so flooding becomes the third threat.

In an average season, the Atlantic Basin will experience 12 tropical storms, six hurricanes, and two major hurricanes. "It is an extremely, dangerous, life-threatening, historic hurricane", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said.

Behind Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Isaac and Hurricane Helene are both swirling in the Atlantic.

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said Florence, whose maximum sustained winds have already reached 105 miles per hour, will become an "extremely unsafe hurricane" when it makes landfall. Steady weakening should begin by Tuesday, the center says.

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Tropical Storm Isaac is nearing hurricane strength and is on a track that will bring it into the Caribbean, with its closest pass to the USVI expected to be 144 miles south of St. Croix on Thursday night.

Ahead of Florence's arrival, barrier islands were already seeing unsafe rip currents and seawater flowed over a state highway - the harbinger of a storm surge that could wipe out dunes and submerge entire communities.

Hurricane Florence isn't the only storm churning in the Atlantic Ocean.

The storm "is too powerful and its path is too uncertain to take any chances", South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said in issuing his state's emergency declaration.

"A storm surge of 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels is possible near and to the north of where the centre moves through the Lesser Antilles".

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Hurricane Helene is way out near Africa. Storms generally form over the equator, where the water temperature is especially high, then move north and west, pushed along by currents in the tropical Atlantic. It took Matheson and her husband almost the whole day Monday to drive the 60 miles (100 kilometers) off the barrier island.

In the Pacific, Olivia became a tropical storm again on a path to hit the Hawaiian islands early Wednesday.

In the village of Buxton, Liz Browning Fox plans to ride the storm out in her house on top of a ridge.

Beyond the damage from wind and high surf, Hurricane Florence is anticipated to slow over the Carolinas where it might dump up to 30 inches of rain over quite a bit of North and SC. "There is no way to be completely safe". "There is no way to be completely safe", but going inland might not be much safer.

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