Hurricane warnings issued for parts of Carolinas

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Forecasters have issued a hurricane warning for parts of the Carolinas as Hurricane Florence barrels toward land.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Tuesday that a warning had been issued from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Duck, North Carolina, and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

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A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued from north of the North Carolina-Virginia border to Cape Charles Light, Virginia, and for the Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Florence was centered 785 miles (1,260 kms) southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, moving west-northwest at 17 mph (28 kph).

It is a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph (220 kph). It is expected to keep drawing energy from the warm water and intensify to near Category 5, with winds of 157 mph (253 kph) or higher.