Florence now a tropical storm, but will continue to threaten Carolinas

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NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC - SEPTEMBER 14: Waves created by Hurricane Florence are seen along Cherry Grove Fishing Pier on September 14, 2018 in North Myrtle Beach, United States. Hurricane Florence is hitting along the North Carolina and South Carolina coastline bringing high winds and rain. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

WILMINGTON, N.C. – 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 (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.

This story will be updated with additional information momentarily.

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