Gov. Cooper declares State of Emergency as Florence approaches U.S. coast

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has declared a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Florence approaches the U.S. East Coast. (Image credit: MGN / NASA)

North Carolina's governor has declared a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Florence approaches the U.S. East Coast.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced the declaration in a news release Friday evening as the storm neared Bermuda.

Cooper says it's "too early" to know where the storm will go, but he says residents should use the weekend to prepare for the possibility of a natural disaster. Some forecast models have shown Florence slamming into land by late next week, while others indicated the storm would curve away from shore.

Cooper also waived transportation rules to help farmers harvest and transport their crops more quickly.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence's maximum sustained winds Friday evening were estimated to be 65 mph (105 kph). The storm was centered about 905 miles (1,457 kilometers) east-southeast of Bermuda and moving west at 8 mph (13 kph).

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