• Tropical Storm Florence: Catastrophic storm wreaking havoc in Carolinas, what happens next

    By: Joey Sulipeck , Brittani Dubose


    Friday evening update from Meteorologist Joey Sulipeck:

    Florence has been downgraded to a Tropical System with maximum wind speeds near 70 mph.

    It’s moving very slowly, towards the west at 3 mph.

    This slowing trend is contributing to the massive rainfall totals across the region, with North Carolina racking up some incredible totals – many of which are still growing.

    It has been projected by the National Hurricane Center that Florence could produce an ADDITIONAL 20 to 25 inches of rain, with isolated storm totals of up to 30 or 40 inches.  This would lead to more catastrophic flash flooding and potential river flooding.

    The expected path of Florence over the next few days will take it west into South Carolina before turning north. Gradual weakening is expected as it progresses.

    The Storm Surge Watch and Hurricane Watch have been discontinued.

    The FOX13 Severe Weather Team will continue to track and study Florence as she continues inland and will bring you fresh updates with the latest information in every broadcast.

    Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, N.C. at 6:15 a.m with speeds of 90 MPH.

    Major flooding is impacting many areas, and power outage numbers are over 400,000.

    WATCH LIVE coverage of Hurricane Florence streaming 24/7.

    For up-to-the-minute updates on the storm, CLICK HERE.

    Here are the latest numbers:

    • A peak wind gust of 91 MPH was reported at Wilmington International Airport
    • 20 to 25 inches of rain are expected along the coast, with some areas seeing as much as 30 to 40 inches
    • Catastrophic flash flooding/storm surge is expected

    Photos: Hurricane Florence batters Carolinas

    What does it all mean?

    This is STILL a VERY DANGEROUS STORM. Don't be misled by the category drop.

    Florence is a large, powerful hurricane.

    Storm surge is currently occurring across the North Carolina and South Carolina coasts.  

    Hurricane and Tropical Storm force winds are expected to continue through Friday as the storm moves slowly inland.

    Rainfall totals could reach 20 to 30 inches, with isolated areas receiving up to 40 inches of rainfall.

    Tornadoes formation is possible in eastern and southeastern North Carolina through Friday as well

    This is where it becomes more complicated and demands attention.

    Florence is projected to near the coast - and stall. This will lead to pronounced and prolonged flooding as rain continues to fall.

    Download the FOX13 Memphis app to receive alerts from breaking news in your neighborhood.


    Please stay weather aware and in tune with every update throughout the hours to come as the storm arrives.

    What about impact locally?

    Our impact from Florence will be minimal.

    East Tennessee has a better chance for seeing significant rainfall (close to 4” near Johnson City) and gusty winds.

    Rain chances for the Mid-South will stay around 10% through early next week with partly cloudy skies. 

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