Destructive Hurricane Florence to batter the Carolinas for days

Hurricane Florence has made landfall and is on a path of destruction that will put millions of people at risk and threaten billions of dollars in damage.

Florence officially made landfall around 7:15 a.m. EDT near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, as the eye wobbled ashore.

Florence dipped to Category 2 hurricane strength with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph on Wednesday evening. During Thursday evening, it became a Category 1 storm with sustained winds of 90 mph.

The forward speed of Florence dropped from 17 mph on Wednesday to less than 5 mph during Thursday afternoon.

AccuWeather meteorologists believe that the hurricane will continue to meander slowly along the Carolina coast into Saturday. Wobbles, small loops and zigzags can occur. However, the rain and wind field around the storm will expand, power outages and damage reports will mount and flooding will increase.

As top wind speeds slowly come down, rainfall will ramp up and there is the potential for isolated tornadoes   and waterspouts.

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