MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center warn that Florence remains deadly because of its size and slow forward speed, even if its top sustained winds have dropped it to Category 2 status as a hurricane.
Director Ken Graham says there is nothing "minor" about this hurricane. Water causes the most deaths during tropical storms and hurricanes, and Florence expected to cause dangerous flooding.
Graham said areas that repeatedly get hit even with weaker winds at Florence's edges could see heavy rainfall for hours. Storm surge flooding also could push 2 miles or more inland if Florence lingers for days along the coast.
Tornadoes also remain a threat, particularly in areas northeast of the hurricane's eye.
Senior hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart warns that Florence being a slow hurricane could mean three to four hours of battering, beach-eroding winds for some areas.