MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The eye of Hurricane Florence officially made landfall this morning at 7:15 am EDT (6:15 am CDT) near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.
As of the 10 pm EDT update from the National Hurricane Center, Florence is a tropical storm with sustained winds near 65 mph. It is still battering the coasts of North and South Carolina with heavy rain, gusty damaging winds and high surf. Life threatening storm surges and strong winds will continue overnight, as tropical-storm-force winds extend 175 miles from the center.
Catastrophic freshwater flooding is expected over portions of NC and SC. In southeastern coastal North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina, an additional 20 to 25 inches of rain is possible. Localized amounts of 30 to 40 inches of rain is also possible according to the NHC.
Per the NHC, the forecast track has the center of Florence moving further inland across South Carolina tonight and Saturday. Florence will then move generally northward across the western Carolinas and the central Appalachian Mountains early next week. Gradual weakening is forecast later today and tonight while significant weakening is expected over the weekend and into early next week while Florence moves farther inland. It will likely become a tropical depression by Saturday night.