BOSTON — Florence is still a powerful and life-threatening hurricane.
Hurricane force winds extend 80 miles and tropical storm force winds 195 miles from the center.
The eye is expected to make landfall Friday morning along the North Carolina coast, then drift inland and weaken slowly. It will dump tropical rainfall, potentially over 3 feet of rain, causing catastrophic fresh-water flooding.
Do not focus on the category. One mile-per-hour faster and this would still be a category 3.
Life-threatening storm surges, waves, winds, and flooding are expected. Since the hurricane will move so slowly, inland flooding is likely, which may take days to diminish.
MORE: "Monster" Hurricane Florence aims to drench Carolinas
Cox Media Group