Storm Helene to batter NI as severe weather warning is issued

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"A NOAA buoy located about 80 miles (130 km) south of the center of Florence has recently reported sustained winds of 52 km (83 km/h) with a gust to 64 mph (104 km/h)".

The biggest threats from Hurricane Florence are life-threatening storm surge, devastating flash-flooding, and hurricane-force winds.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Helene has 90 miles per hour winds, meaning it is a Category 1 storm.

The Barbados Meteorological Services continues to closely monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Isaac over the Atlantic.

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The National Hurricane Center said up to 3 inches of rain could fall in Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.

It is not yet known what direction the storm will take however forecasters are warning that there will be very strong winds of around 55 to 65mph with the potential for gusts of 70 to 80mph in exposed areas.

Earlier forecasts showed that the storm was slated to directly hit around North and SC. "On the forecast track, the center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and SC later tonight, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and northeastern SC in the hurricane warning area on Friday", the briefing said.

The center of Isaac is forecast to pass 109 miles south of St. Croix at 2 a.m. on Friday. Many areas in the low-lying city flood with routine rain storms, causing street closures and detours.

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Storm Helene is heading towards the UK from the Atlantic and is separate from Hurricaine Florence, which is starting to hit the eastern United States.

Philippine authorities began evacuating thousands of people Thursday from the path of the typhoon, closing schools, readying bulldozers for landslides and placing rescuers and troops on full alert in the country's north.

The powerful storm already has inundated coastal streets with ocean water and left tens of thousands without power, and forecasters say that "catastrophic" freshwater flooding is expected over portions of the Carolinas as Hurricane Florence inches closer to the East Coast.

President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid. On Thursday morning, South 17th Street, usually teeming with commuter traffic by 6:30 a.m., was almost devoid of cars.

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