Hurricane Florence strengthens to Category 4 storm, could strike Carolinas on Thursday
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Florence rapidly strengthened into a potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane on Monday as it closed in on North and South Carolina, carrying winds and water that could wreak havoc over a wide stretch of the eastern United States later this week. The first effects were already being seen on barrier islands Monday as dangerous rip currents and seawater flowed over the state highway.