Florence weakens slighly as it nears coast of Carolinas
A handout photo made available by NASA shows the eye of category 3 Hurricane Florence over the Atlantic, as seen from the International Space Station (ISS), Sept. 12, 2018. EPA-EFE/NASA
A handout photo made available by NASA shows the eye of category 3 Hurricane Florence over the Atlantic, Sept. 12, 2018. EPA-EFE/ESA/ NASA-Alexander Gerst
A handout photo made available by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows a Geo-Color satellite image of Hurricane Florence approaching the US coast, Sept. 12, 2018. EPA-EFE/NOAA
Families board evacuation buses for a shelter in Raleigh, North Carolina, less than two days before Hurricane Florence is expected to strike Wilmington, North Carolina, United States, Sept. 12, 2018. EPA-EFE/Jim Lo Scalzo
Jeff, a homeowner, cuts plywood to board up his windows before evacuating ahead of the forecasted landfall of Hurricane Florence in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, United States, Sept. 12, 2018. EPA-EFE/Caitlin Penna
A boarded up window shows the hurricanes and dates the house has been through as people evacuate ahead of the forecasted landfall of Hurricane Florence in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, United States, Sept. 12, 2018. EPA-EFE/Caitlin Penna
Miami, Sep 12 (efe-epa).- Hurricane Florence weakened slightly Wednesday to Category 3, but remains a dangerous storm while moving toward the coasts of North and South Carolina.
In its 2100 GMT public advisory, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that Florence has maximum sustained winds of 195 kph (120 mph), extending outward up to 110 km (70 mi) from the center of the storm.
The tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 315 km (195 mi).
The NHC warned that the "combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline."
"Although slow weakening is expected to begin by late Thursday, Florence is forecast to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it nears the U.S. coast late Thursday and Friday," the Miami-based NHC said.
Florence is located about 615 km (385 mi) southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and some 675 km (420 mi) east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, while moving northwest at 26 kph (16 mph).
The NHC issued a hurricane warning for South Santee River, South Carolina, to Duck, Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, North Carolina, as well as a hurricane watch for Edisto Beach, South Carolina, to the North Carolina-Virginia border.
A storm surge warning has also been sent out for the area, and the NHC warned that there is "danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, during the next 36 hours."