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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Heavy rain bands and hurricane force winds from Hurricane Florence continue moving inland from the North Carolina coastline.

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At 11 p.m., the center of the Category 2 hurricane was about 60 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Florence is moving slowly toward the northwest near 5 mph, but a slow west-northwestward motion is expected to resume tonight or Friday.

A slow westward to west-southwestward motion is expected Friday night and Saturday.

PHOTOS: Hurricane Florence From Space

Florence is moving toward the northwest near 6 mph.

A turn toward the west-northwest and west at a slow forward speed is expected through Friday, followed by a slow west-southwestward motion Friday night and Saturday.

On the forecast track, the center of Florence is expected to move inland across extreme southeastern North Carolina and extreme eastern South Carolina Friday and Saturday.

Florence will then recurve across the western Carolinas and the central Appalachian Mountains early next week.

Data from the Hurricane Hunter aircraft, coastal surface observations, and NOAA Doppler radar indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 90 mph with higher gusts.

Little change in strength is expected before Florence moves inland on Friday.

More significant weakening is expected over the weekend and into early next week while Florence moves farther inland.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles.

A Weatherflow station at Fort Macon, North Carolina recently reported a sustained wind of 77 mph with a gust to 100 mph.

A storm surge of 10 feet above normal levels was reported by the National Weather Service office in Morehead City, North Carolina, at the Cherry Branch Ferry Terminal on the Neuse River, courtesy of the North Carolina Department of Transportation.


A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
* South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina
* Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
* Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River South Carolina

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina
* Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River South Carolina

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* North of Duck North Carolina to Cape Charles Light Virginia
* Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort
* Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River South Carolina


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STORM SURGE:  The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.

The water has the potential to reach the following heights above ground…

Cape Fear NC to Cape Lookout NC…7-11 ft, with locally higher amounts in the Neuse, Pamlico, Pungo, and Bay Rivers

Cape Lookout NC to Ocracoke Inlet NC…6-9 ft

South Santee River SC to Cape Fear NC…4-6 ft

Ocracoke Inlet NC to Salvo NC…4-6 ft

Salvo NC to North Carolina/Virginia Border…2-4 ft

Edisto Beach SC to South Santee River SC…2-4 ft

The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

Surge-related flooding can vary greatly over short distances.

For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.

RAINFALL: Florence is expected to produce heavy and excessive rainfall in the following areas…

Southeastern coastal North Carolina into far northeastern South Carolina…20 to 30 inches, isolated 40 inches.

This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding.

Remainder of South Carolina and North Carolina into southwest Virginia…6 to 12 inches, isolated 15 inches.

This rainfall will produce life-threatening flash flooding.

WIND:  Hurricane conditions have reached portions of the coast of North Carolina and are expected to spread elsewhere within the hurricane warning area overnight or early Friday.

Tropical storm conditions are expected to spread inland and south across the remainder of the warning areas through Saturday.

TORNADOES:  A few tornadoes are possible in eastern and southeastern North Carolina through Friday.

SURF:  Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda, portions of the U.S. East Coast, and the northwestern and central Bahamas.

These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

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Please consult products from your local weather office.