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The Latest Florence to become hurricane late Saturday

MIAMI — The Latest on 11 a.m. (all times local):

Forecasters say Tropical Storm Florence is becoming a “better organized” weather system and will likely strengthen into a hurricane late Saturday.

The National Hurricane center said Saturday that Florence will start to rapidly intensify Sunday, and be a major hurricane by Tuesday.

Life-threatening surf and rip current conditions were likely to affect Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast over the weekend.

The storm’s center will approach the U.S. Southeast coast on Thursday after passing between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Officials say Tropical Storm Florence continues to approach the U.S. East Coast and swells generated by the storm are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

The National Hurricane Center said early Saturday morning that the storm is located about 840 miles (1351.79 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda and is moving westward at about 9 mph (14 km/h). The storm has maximum sustained winds of about 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts.

The Miami-based center said Florence is expected to become a hurricane by Sunday.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency Friday evening. Cooper says it’s “too early” to know where the storm will go, but he says residents should use the weekend to prepare for the possibility of a natural disaster.