September 15, 2018 / 9:50 AM / in 10 months

Florence causing flooding but storm weakening, set for downgrade on Saturday: NHC

A man drives his vehicle around the Union Point Park Complex through floodwaters as the Hurricane Florence comes ashore in New Bern, North Carolina September 13, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

(Reuters) - Tropical Storm Florence is slowly weakening over eastern South Carolina but is causing catastrophic flooding in North and South Carolina, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Saturday.

The storm was about 45 miles (70 km) south-southeast of Florence, South Carolina, packing maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour (80 km/h), the NHC said a bulletin at 5 a.m..

Florence is moving west-southwest at 5 miles per hour and is expected to turn toward the west and northwest over the weekend before heading north through the Ohio Valley by Monday, the NHC said.

Gradual weakening is forecast as the storm moves inland during the next couple of days, and it is likely to weaken to a tropical depression by Saturday night, the center said.

Reporting by Brendan O'Brien; editing by Jason Neely

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