WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — A strong category 2 Hurricane Florence has continued its slow march toward the Carolina coast, with just hours left before evacuation becomes impossible.
As of 8 a.m. Thursday, the center of Florence was just 170 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, packing sustained winds of 110 mph.
Florence is 220 miles from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It continues to move toward the coast at 12 mph. This forward speed is expected to decrease to nearly nothing overnight Thursday and Friday morning.
Little change in wind strength is expected as the storm makes its final approach.
The storm is very large, with hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center with tropical-storm-force winds extending out 195 miles.
Forecasters expect the storm to linger along and just inland of the Carolina coast for up to 48 hours after landfall, dropping huge amounts of rain over the area, with coastal North Carolina may see 20 to 30 inches of rain, with isolated amounts up to 40 inches. This will undoubtedly cause dangerous flooding conditions through the area.
For the very latest storm information and interactive tracking map, visit the CBS12 Hurricane Center.