September 12, 2018 11:14 pm
Updated: September 12, 2018 11:53 pm

Hurricane Florence downgraded to Category 2 hurricane

WATCH: Hurricane Florence: National Guard deploys to areas that will be impacted

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Hurricane Florence weakened into a Category 2 hurricane as it moved towards east coast of the United States, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Wednesday, but a life-threatening storm surge and heavy rainfall were still expected.

READ MORE: This is how big Hurricane Florence is. Hint, the eye of the storm is the size of Toronto

Florence was located about 520 km east-southeast of Myrtle beach, South Carolina, with maximum sustained winds of 175 km per hour, the Miami, Florida-based weather forecaster said.

The storm is moving toward the northwest at 28 kph, the NHC said.

WATCH: Hurricane Florence intensifies as it approaches US coast

The center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and South Carolina on Thursday, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern South Carolina on Thursday night and Friday, the NHC added.

© 2018 Reuters

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