Florence weakens, devastating impact stays the same

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Florence has again weakened slightly, but still remains a major category 3 hurricane with winds of 115mph. We really don't want people to get too hung up on this weakening, because the devastating flooding impacts will remain the same.

As of 8pm Wednesday, Florence is now about 335mi SE of Wilmington and will get very close to there with 115mph winds by Friday morning. From there, the movement really stalls as the storm drifts southward towards Myrtle Beach where the landfall is now expected sometime early Saturday.

Beyond that, there has not been much of a change to the inland track, still putting the center of the storm to our south meaning we will be feeling the breeze pick up Friday, really getting gusty Saturday, and seeing some of the heaviest rain in our area Sunday into Monday (in addition to a small tornado threat those days as well).

With the slightly slower and southward track of Florence, we have now issued a First Alert Day for Monday in addition to Saturday and Sunday. The trends as of this afternoon are indicating that the worst conditions in terms of heaviest rain and the tornado threat may be Sunday into Monday for the WBTV viewing area.

A First Alert Day will remain in effect for Saturday as well as damaging wind gusts of 30-40mph ( isolated to 50mph) will begin to develop. However, the heaviest and most widespread rain likely holds off until the second half of the weekend, perhaps into early next week.

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