Hurricane Florence downgraded to tropical storm

Hurricane Florence
Tropical_Weather_Waiting_For_Florence_Photo_Gallery_43676-159532.jpg60835914

An onlooker checks out the heavy surf at the Avalon Fishing Pier in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 as Hurricane Florence approaches the east coast. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) —Forecasters say Florence is now a tropical storm but will continue to threaten North and South Carolina with powerful winds and catastrophic freshwater flooding.

Its top sustained winds have dropped to 70 mph, and it’s at a near standstill, moving west at just 3 mph.

At 5 p.m., Florence was centered about 50 miles west-southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 25 miles northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles from its center. The National Hurricane Center says Florence is producing tropical storm-force wind gusts in Florence, South Carolina, about 60 miles from the coast.

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