September 13, 2018 / 3:14 AM / in a month

Florence weakens to Category 2 hurricane but still life-threatening: NHC

(Reuters) - Hurricane Florence weakened into a Category 2 hurricane as it moved towards east coast of the United States, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Wednesday, but a life-threatening storm surge and heavy rainfall were still expected.

A family enjoys the surf ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Oak Island, North Carolina, U.S. September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Randall Hill

Florence was located about 325 miles (520 km) east-southeast of Myrtle beach, South Carolina, with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour (175 km per hour), the Miami, Florida-based weather forecaster said.

The storm is moving toward the northwest at 17 mph (28 kph), the NHC said.

The center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and South Carolina on Thursday, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern South Carolina on Thursday night and Friday, the NHC added.

Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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