Hurricane Florence maintains strength as it nears coast

Little change in strength is expected before the eye of Florence reaches the Carolina coast, with slow weakening expected after the center moves inland or meanders near the coast, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

"More significant weakening is forecast on Saturday as Florence moves farther inland over central South Carolina," the NHC said on Thursday.

Florence is located about 155 miles (250 kilometers) east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, packing maximum sustained winds of 100 mph (155 km/h), the Miami-based weather forecaster said.

Hurricane-force winds caused by Florence were getting closer to the North Carolina outer banks and coastal southeastern North Carolina, the NHC said, adding that life-threatening storm surge and rainfall was expected.

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