Florence has officially been downgraded to a tropical storm…but authorities say it’s still causing destruction…claiming the lives of at least five people so far.

 fox news chief correspondent Jonathan hunt is braving the storm in myrtle beach, South Carolina and brings us the latest.

“the South Carolina coast getting what they hope will be one final whack from the winds of Florence.  But the rain likely to continue, we’re told, for at least another 24 hours, and even longer as you move inland through South Carolina.  So, this is a two-part story. 

The coastal areas, including here in north myrtle beach, may have dodged the worst. 

We are on the bottom end of the hurricane map if you like, which meant the winds were coming offshore, coming from land towards the ocean.  That means they push the ocean back, so we didn’t get the surge that they were expecting.  But flooding is a different issue. 

That is going to affect mainly inland South Carolina over the next 24 to 72 hours.  There are several rivers, 20, 30, 40 miles inland from where we’re standing right now on north myrtle beach. 

They’re expected to reach record levels over this weekend.

That means hundreds, if not thousands of homes face a very real risk of a flooding disaster.

As for wind damage here in north myrtle beach, we can look up the beach here, and you can see vaguely through the wind and rain and clouds, a couple of homes that suffered minor damage, some trees have been brought down in this city as well, and most of it, most of the entire myrtle beach region is without power right now. 

Clearly, it is not safe for workers to come out and start fixing that.

So many residents here, those who have stayed and didn’t heed the warnings to get out, are likely to be without power for quite some time.

And the warning, again, from officials is that this remains a major event in terms of potential catastrophic flooding and will remain so for the next 24 to 72 hours.

In north myrtle beach, Jonathan hunt, fox news.”