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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Tropical Storm Florence is still posing life-threatening surges in portions of North and South Carolina.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm came ashore around 7:15 a.m. near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane.

At 11 p.m., the center of the storm was 15 miles north-northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It was crawling west at 5 mph with maximum sustained winds decreasing to 65 mph.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles.

A slow westward to west-southwestward motion is expected through Saturday. On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move further inland across extreme southeastern North Carolina and extreme eastern South Carolina tonight and Saturday. Florence will then move generally northward across the western Carolinas and the central Appalachian Mountains early next week.

PHOTOS: Hurricane Florence From Space

Gradual weakening is in the forecast. Significant weakening is expected over the weekend and into early next week while Florence moves farther inland.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
* Myrtle Beach South Carolina to Salvo North Carolina
* Pamlico Sound, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Edisto Beach South Carolina to Cape Hatteras North Carolina
* Pamlico Sound

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

The Neuse, Pamlico, Pungo, and Bay Rivers…8-12 ft
Cape Fear NC to Salvo NC…3-5 ft
Myrtle Beach SC to Cape Fear NC…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.

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

Southeastern coastal North Carolina into far northeastern South Carolina…an additional 20 to 25 inches, with isolated storm totals of 30 to 40 inches. This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding.

Remainder of South Carolina and North Carolina into southwest Virginia…5 to 10 inches, isolated 15 inches. This rainfall will produce life-threatening flash flooding.

Rainfall totals exceeding 16 inches thus far have been reported at several locations across southeastern North Carolina.

WIND: Tropical storm conditions will continue through Saturday morning in portions of the warning area along the coast and also over large portions of eastern North Carolina and extreme eastern South Carolina, with tropical storm force wind gusts spreading well inland.

TORNADOES: A few tornadoes are possible in eastern North Carolina through tonight, mainly near southeast coastal areas after dark.

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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