MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Florence has been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm, the National Hurricane Center announced Friday.
Forecasters say even though the storm has weakened, it will continue to threaten North and South Carolina with powerful winds and catastrophic freshwater flooding.
Its top sustained winds have dropped to 70 mph (110 kph), and it's at a near standstill, moving west at just 3 mph (6 kph).
At 5 p.m., Florence was centered about 50 miles (75 kilometers) west-southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 25 miles (45 kilometers) northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 kilometers) 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.