Hurricane Florence closes in on US east coast

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Hurricane Florence was on course Wednesday to deliver a powerful blow to the east coast of the United States, with forecasters warning of life-threatening rainfall and flooding even as it weakened to a Category 2 storm.

Georgia joined four other coastal states issuing an emergency declaration as forecasts showed Florence dumping historic amounts of torrential rain on the southern state.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that Florence’s maximum sustained winds had eased to 110 miles per hour (175 kph) and it had been downgraded to a Category 2 storm from Category 3 on the five-level Saffir-Simpson wind scale.

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