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Weakening Florence still poses flooding risk, SC Gov McMaster warns

Marian Rivera covers her face from the strong wind and blowing sand as Tropical Storm Florence approaches the Isle of Palms, S.C., Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

As Tropical Storm Florence continues to spiral over the Carolinas, the governor of South Carolina is warning residents that the deadly former hurricane still poses the risk of major flooding.

Gov. Henry McMaster called Florence -- downgraded Friday from a Category 1 hurricane to a tropical storm -- "most unpredictable" during a news conference Saturday.

"But what has been predictable instead," he continued, "is our concern about the heavy rain and the flooding."

So far, one person in the Palmetto State has died during the storm. The Associated Press reported that a 61-year-old woman was driving in Union, South Carolina, late Friday when the vehicle she was driving hit a felled tree.

At the start of Saturday's briefing, McMaster identified the deceased as Amber Dawn Lee. "We're mighty sorry," he added.

A spokesman from the National Weather Service said Florence is moving westward at 3 mph with maximum sustained winds at 40 mph. He said: "It's really been a slow move since it came to South Carolina last evening."

He stressed that while Tropical Storm Florence is weakening:

"For us, by no means is the risk for flash flooding over. In fact, additional rainfall amounts of 8-12 inches are expected from Rock Hill to Florence to Myrtle Beach and areas northeast of there."

McMaster said evacuation orders had been lifted in some areas, but not for Horry and Georgetown counties.

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