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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florence has rapidly strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane as it heads towards the US Atlantic seaboard.

At 11 p.m., the center of the storm was about 465 miles south-southeast of Bermuda and 1085 east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.

Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 13 mph.

A west-northwestward to northwestward motion and an increase in forward speed are expected during the next couple of days.

On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the coast of North Carolina or South Carolina on Thursday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 140 mph with higher gusts.

Florence is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Some strengthening is expected during the next 36 hours, and Florence is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

Storm Surge and Hurricane watches could be issued for areas of the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states by Tuesday morning.

Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda and portions of the US East Coast.

These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

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