CBS/AP September 8, 2018, 3:06 PM Florence expected to become a hurricane as it approaches East Coast

Last Updated Sep 8, 2018 3:09 PM EDT

MIAMI — Tropical Storm Florence is becoming a "better organized" weather system and is expected to strengthen into a hurricane Saturday evening, the National Hurricane Center said. The storm is expected to become a "major hurricane" by Tuesday as it passes between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday.

It is expected to approach the southeast U.S. Coast on Thursday.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on Friday evening, urging residents to use the weekend to prepare for the possibility of a natural disaster. "We are entering the peak of hurricane season and we know well the unpredictability and power of these storms," he said.

In South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency Saturday to prepare for the storm, stressing the declaration is not an order to evacuate.

"It's a beautiful day outside, people playing football, the last thing on people's mind is a hurricane," McMaster said, according to The State newspaper. "Just like they got ready to play these football games today, we're asking people to get ready."

This map from the National Hurricane Center shows the projected path of Tropical Storm Florence on Saturday, September 8, 2018.

National Hurricane Center

Swells generated by Florence could cause dangerous rip currents and coastal flooding Saturday in areas including coastal Delaware and New Jersey, the National Weather Service said.

At 11 a.m. EDT, the Miami-based hurricane center said Florence's maximum sustained winds were estimated to be 65 mph. The storm was centered about 835 miles southeast of Bermuda and moving west at 7 mph.

Gordon remnants to drop heavy rain

A soaking rainstorm, of which Gordon is a part, was expected to raise the risk of flooding in portions of the Ohio and middle Mississippi valleys on Saturday.

Gordon made landfall as a tropical storm on Monday and by the end of the week it was a tropical depression. Flash flood watches were in effect as of Friday night for parts of central Arkansas and Missouri into the Ohio River Valley.

"Gordon and its transition to an extra-tropical low could produce total rain accumulations of 3 to 6 inches over Missouri into the Midwest, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 10 inches through Monday. This rainfall will likely cause local flooding and flash flooding," the National Hurricane Center said Friday night.

Tropical Storm Helene

Tropical Storm Helene formed off the coast of Africa and the Cabo Verde islands late Friday, the National Hurricane Center said. The storm is expected to bring tropical storm conditions to the Cabo Verde islands by Saturday night.

A tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch was in effect for the Cabo Verde islands of Santiago, Fogo, and Brava.

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