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Hurricane Florence strengthens to Category 4, barrels toward East Coast

The hurricane barreling toward the East Coast has strengthened to a Category 4 with 130 mph winds, according to reports. 

Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall somewhere between South Carolina and North Carolina, and areas across the coast will likely be affected by flooding and winds, according to The Washington Post.

The storm's approach has led to a flurry of emergency declarations and requests from states in Florence's path.

Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) on Monday afternoon asked President Trump to expedite a disaster declaration ahead of the hurricane, saying a declaration would "allow much-needed federal resources to be mobilized." Jones's district includes the Outer Banks, an area that is in direct line of the hurricane. 

President Trump has canceled a Friday rally in Mississippi due to the approaching hurricane.

South Carolina has also asked for a disaster declaration.

Some storm trackers indicated the hurricane could stall over the mid-Atlantic this week, which would lead to massive rainfall, the Post reported. There is also some speculation the storm could increase to Category 5 strength.

If Florence makes landfall as a Category 4 in North Carolina, it will be the strongest storm on record to hit the U.S. that far north.

The storm's tropical storm-force winds could reach the coast by Wednesday night, and hurricane-force winds could reach coastal locations Thursday and Friday, the Post reported.

The heaviest rainfall is expected in North Carolina and southwestern Virginia. According to the Post's predictions, 70 percent of the landfall will hit the Carolinas, 10 percent will hit between Virginia and New England, 10 percent will hit offshore and 10 percent will fall between Florida and Georgia. 

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