Florence is forecast to strengthen again; could impact Carolinas

CHARLOTTE (AP) — Florence could cause life-threatening surf and rip currents along parts of the U.S. East Coast this weekend as the storm swirls across the Atlantic.

Though weakened to a tropical storm, Florence is expected to regain hurricane strength as it nears Bermuda.

Forecasters say it’s too soon to tell where the storm will go because there’s still a lot of uncertainty in its long-term track.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm’s maximum sustained winds early Friday were estimated to be 65 mph (104 kph). Florence was centered about 985 miles (1,585 kilometers) east-southeast of Bermuda and is moving west at 7 mph (11 kph).

Forecasters say two low pressure systems off the coast of Africa behind Florence also have high chances of developing into tropical storms.

Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina issued a state of emergency Friday evening in advance of the storm to help farmers. Transportation rules have been waived to help farmers harvest and transport their crops more quickly.

There are no coastal watches or warnings currently in effect.

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