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Hurricane Erick gains strength while heading toward Hawaii as Tropical Storm Flossie churns in the Pacific

A major hurricane was heading toward Hawaii early Tuesday morning, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu said. Hurricane Erick has strengthened into a Category 3 storm.

As of 5 a.m. in Hawaii, Erick had maximum sustained winds of about 115 mph and was about 920 miles east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii, on the Big Island, the center said. The storm was expected to gain more strength Tuesday.

Erick was expected to start weakening as soon as Wednesday, the center said. The storm was expected to pass by Hawaii to the south starting overnight Thursday.

A map made by the National Hurricane Center shows the projected path of Hurricane Erick as of 11 a.m. ET on July 30, 2019.
A map made by the National Hurricane Center shows the projected path of Hurricane Erick as of 11 a.m. ET on July 30, 2019. National Hurricane Center

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Flossie was churning in the Pacific to the east of Erick and was expected to become a hurricane later Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. The storm had maximum sustained winds of about 70 mph and was located about 1,015 miles southwest of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California early Tuesday morning.

Flossie was expected to strengthen Tuesday and Wednesday and could possibly become a Category 3 storm, the hurricane center said.

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