Hurricane Florence is beginning to impact the Eastern Seaboard, with the outer bands of wind and rain from the weakened by still lethal storm starting to lash North Carolina. Florence's winds have dropped from a peak of 140 mph (225 kph) to 105 mph (165 kph) but forecasters warn that the widening storm — and its likelihood of lingering around the coast day after day — will bring seawater surging onto land and torrential downpours.

Here are the stories The Associated Press is planning. All times EDT:


TROPICAL WEATHER —The outer tropical bands from a weakened but still lethal Hurricane Florence began lashing North Carolina on Thursday as the monster storm moved in for a prolonged and potentially catastrophic stay along the Southeast coast that could drench the homes of as many as 10 million people. SENT: 800 words, photos, video, interactive. Will be updated throughout the day.

TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST. Updated throughout the day.

TROPICAL WEATHER-SHIFTING SANDS — As many North Carolina residents boarded up beachfront homes, they knew those houses not be there next week. The low-lying barrier islands hugging the Carolinas coast are experiencing some of the fastest rates of sea level rise observed anywhere in the world — nearly an inch a year. But Republican lawmakers backed by homebuilders and Relators passed a 2012 law saying projections of future sea-level rise can't be weighed when permitting new development. That means billions invested in structures doomed to be swallowed by the sea, often leaving taxpayer holding the bill. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos, by 5 p.m.

TROPICAL WEATHER-EVACUATION DILEMMA — Mercedes O'Neill is a little scared to ride out Hurricane Florence in her home just two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean with her boyfriend, her 6-year-old daughter, two cats and her new son, due Sept. 27. She thought hard about leaving. She is in a mandatory evacuation zone, but in South Carolina officials can't force anyone to leave. SENT: 600 words, photos.

TROPICAL WEATHER-STORM SURGE — Beware the storm surge. It's a leading killer in hurricanes, and Florence is expected to whip up a big one, boosted by wind, sea level rise, and tides. 600 words, photos by 3 p.m.

TROPICAL WEATHER-TRUMP — President Donald Trump on Thursday rejected the official conclusion that nearly 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico from last year's Hurricane Maria, arguing without evidence that the number was wrong and calling it a plot by Democrats to make him "look as bad as possible." SENT: 1000 words, photos.

TROPICAL WEATHER-WHAT'S HAPPENING: A chunky text look at the storm. 800 words, photos, video. Will be updated.



TROPICAL WEATHER-CHICKENS IN HOME: SENT: 130 words, photos, video.

FBC-MONITORING FLORENCE: College football cancellations. 100 words, photo. Will be updated.


Photo coverage from North Carolina, South Carolina. Additional photos expected.


Broadcast and online edits available from North Carolina and South Carolina, Virginia. Additional video expected.


Interactive hurricane tracker.