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Hurricane Florence downgraded to Tropical Storm, at least five dead in NC

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Facebook/National Hurricane Center
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Tropical Storm Florence

Hurricane Florence is now a tropical storm.  At about 4:50 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said Florence was producing tropical storm force wind gusts on the Carolina coast but will continue to threaten North and South Carolina with powerful winds and catastrophic freshwater flooding through the night.  

Authorities say a Wilmington mother and her infant are among the dead as Florence continues to batter the Carolinas.  They died after a tree fell on their house. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper is reminding residents to be careful as dangerous conditions may last for several days.

More than 700-thousand customers are being left without power as hurricane force winds hit the region.  Days of rain are predicted as Florence slowly makes its way inland, leaving behind a trail of destruction and death.  

The former Hurricane Florence could have an impact on Maryland next week.  The National Weather Service says remnants of the hurricane could make their way up through the Western Maryland mountains by Monday night.  Under that scenario, rain and severe storms are possible, along with the potential for some flooding.  Coastal and tidal flooding are also possible this weekend.

President Trump will reportedly visit areas affected by Hurricane Florence next week.  White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told The Hill that Trump hopes to travel to storm-damaged areas in the early-to-middle part of the week.  Sanders said the White House wants to ensure that presidential travels do not disrupt rescue or recovery efforts.  Trump is monitoring the monster storm from the White House.