From the National Hurricane Center:
The center of Florence will be moving inland very soon, but is expected to slow down even more today and tonight. As a result, it will remain fairly close to the coast today, with much of the circulation still over water. Therefore only a gradual decrease in intensity is called for through tonight. Over the weekend, a faster rate of weakening is likely while the center moves at a faster pace and goes farther inland.
It cannot be emphasized enough that the most serious hazard associated with slow-moving Florence is extremely heavy rainfall, which will cause disastrous flooding that will be spreading inland through the weekend. Key Messages: 1. A life-threatening storm surge is already occurring along portions of the North Carolina coast and will continue through today and tonight. This surge is also likely along portions of the South Carolina coast. The greatest storm surge inundation is expected between Cape Fear and Cape Hatteras, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers and western Pamlico Sound. 2. Life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding are likely over portions of the Carolinas and the southern and central Appalachians through early next week, as Florence is expected to slow down while it moves inland. 3. Damaging hurricane-force winds are occurring along portions of the North Carolina coast and are expected to spread to portions of the South Carolina coast later today. Strong winds could also spread inland into portions of the Carolinas over the next couple of days.
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