Florence could cause dangerous surf along US coast

MIAMI (AP) — Florence could cause dangerous surf and rip currents along parts of the U.S. East Coast this weekend as the storm swirls across the Atlantic, according to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center.

Though weakened to a tropical storm, Florence was expected to regain hurricane strength as it neared Bermuda. Large swells were likely to start hitting the British island territory in the north Atlantic Ocean on Friday.

Forecasters said it was too soon to tell where the storm would go. Some forecast models showed Florence slamming into land by late next week, while others indicated the storm would curve away from shore.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a State of Emergency on Friday evening, urging residents to use the weekend to prepare for the possibility of a natural disaster.

“We are entering the peak of hurricane season and we know well the unpredictability and power of these storms,” Cooper said.

South Carolina’s Emergency Management Division also advised coastal residents to start making contingency plans.