CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The new week could open with heavy rain in parts of West Virginia courtesy of Florence which was a Category 1 hurricane as of Friday morning dumping rain on the Carolinas after making landfall around 7:15 a.m. near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

National Weather Service

This National Weather Service map of the projected track of Florence was current as of 10:15 a.m. on Friday.

“We’re currently predicting 2 to 4 inches on average for much of the state and locally higher amounts for the West Virginia mountains and, perhaps, the Eastern Panhandle,” said Nick Webb, a meteorologist working with the National Weather Service’s Charleston Office.

“As it stands now with the latest forecast track, the lower amounts will be closest to the Ohio River.”

Webb talked with MetroNews on Friday morning about concerns for potential flash flooding and river flooding in the Mountain State’s already saturated communities.

On Friday morning, officials at the National Hurricane Center said Florence would remain a “very slow mover” initially that tracked along the coasts of North Carolina and South Carolina for 24 to 36 hours.

Once the storm turned north, Webb said it would pick up speed putting what’s left in Florence in eastern Tennessee and moving into West Virginia by late Sunday into Monday.

By Monday night, the storm was forecasted to be shifting out of West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle.

Acceleration is an asset for the Mountain State with this storm, according to Webb.

“Despite the track that’s forecast to go almost on top of us, the fact that it’s going to be moving a lot quicker is going to help us (in West Virginia) out tremendously,” he said.

In addition to rainfall concerns, Webb said there was a secondary concern about the potential for isolated tornadoes.

The greatest chances for tornadoes would come Sunday into the first half of Monday across West Virginia.

On Friday, communities in North Carolina and South Carolina were seeing what meteorologists with the National Hurricane Center described as life-threatening storm surges and hurricane-force winds along with catastrophic freshwater flooding.

The forecast track had the center of Florence moving further inland across southeastern North Carolina and eastern South Carolina through Friday and into Saturday.

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