Florence strengthens to Category 4, takes aim at Carolinas

  • Alex Gilewicz buys supplies at The Home Depot on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, in Wilmington, N.C. Residents of Wilmington and Southeastern N.C. Florence rapidly strengthened into a potentially catastrophic 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. (Ken Blevins/The Star-News via AP)

  • People shop at the Harris Teeter, filling up on water and supplies as Hurricane Florence becomes a threat to the coast Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, in Charleston, S.C. (Grace Beahm Alford/The Post And Courier via AP)

  • Mike Herring with Frank’s Ice Company unloads another pallet of ice as people buy supplies at The Home Depot on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, in Wilmington, N.C. Hurricane Florence rapidly strengthened into a potentially catastrophic 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. (Ken Blevins/The Star-News via AP)

  • Kevin Orth loads sandbags into cars on Milford Street as he helps residents prepare for Hurricane Florence, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, in Charleston, S.C. (Grace Beahm Alford/The Post And Courier via AP)

RALEIGH, N.C. — Florence exploded into a potentially catastrophic Category 4 hurricane Monday as it closed in on North and South Carolina, carrying winds up to 130 mph and water that could wreak havoc over a wide stretch of the eastern United States later this week.

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