Hurricane Florence is now a Category 2 storm and is “rapidly strengthening” as it heads toward the Carolinas coast with “exceptionally heavy rain,” the National Hurricane Center said Monday morning.

Some areas of eastern North Carolina could see as much as 12 inches of rain, with Raleigh seeing as much as 9 inches, says the National Weather Service.

The slow-moving storm’s winds were at 105 mph early Monday. A Category 2 hurricane has winds between 96 and 110 mph, the hurricane center said.

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