Florence weaker, still a menace


National News

September 13, 2018 - 10:07 AM

Motorists stream down I-40 westbound with the eastbound road empty as the evacuation of the North Carolina coast continues in advance of Hurricane Florence. THE NEWS&OBSERVOR/CHUCK LIDDY/TNS

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — The outer bands of wind and rain from Hurricane Florence began lashing North Carolina today as the monster storm moved in for an extended stay along the Southeastern coast, promising to drench the homes of 10 million people with immense amounts of water.

Florence’s top sustained wind speeds dropped from a high of 140 mph to 110 mph  early today. That reduced Florence from a Category 4 to a Category 2 hurricane, but forecasters warned that the widening storm, and its likelihood of lingering around the coast day after day after day, posed a risk of surging ocean water and torrential rain.

“For a meandering storm, the biggest concern — as we saw with Harvey — is the huge amount of rainfall,” said Chris Landsea, chief of tropical analysis and forecast branch at the National Hurricane Center.

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