September 14, 2018 / 3:32 AM / 3 months ago

Florence weakens to Category 1 hurricane: NHC

Hurricane Florence is seen from the International Space Station as it churns in the Atlantic Ocean towards the east coast of the United States, September 10, 2018. NASA/Handout via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Hurricane Florence has weakened to a Category 1 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, with little change in strength expected before it moves inland on Friday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory.

Florence is about 60 miles (95 km) east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph (150 kph), the Miami-based weather forecaster said.

More significant weakening was expected over the weekend and into early next week while Florence moves inland, the NHC said.

Life-threatening storm surges and hurricane-force winds are occurring along the North Carolina coast, with the threat of freshwater flooding seen increasing over the next several days, it added.

Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru

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