According to Wednesday morning's update from the National Hurricane Center, Florence could park off the coast of the Carolinas on Friday, bringing damaging winds and even extreme storm surges to coastal areas.
In anticipation of the winds and water, 1.7 million people living along the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia were ordered to evacuate ahead of the storm.
Florence is forecast to dump up to three feet (almost a meter) of rain in some areas.
Historic and potentially catastrophic flooding is possible along with life-threating storm surges of up to 12 feet are possible along the coasts.
Jeff Byard of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency said it was imperative locals heed the evacuation warnings.
Natural gas distribution companies and electric utilities ramped up their preparedness efforts as the path of Hurricane Florence, a Category 3 storm as of 2 p.m. ET Wednesday, took a notable shift and was set to approach the coast of North Carolina or the northern coast of SC beginning Thursday.
Hurricane Florence, a sturdy Class four storm, may perchance well perchance presumably stall upon reaching the Carolina cruise and fabricate a diminutive shift south in direction of SC once it makes landfall, changing into "a serious flooding tournament", per Fox Data Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean.
Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.
Meteorologist Christina Speciale said that as of Wednesday morning there is a "50 to 55 percent" chance that Beaufort County experiences tropical-storm-force winds starting sometime between Friday evening and early Saturday.
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The eastbound lanes of several major highways have been shut down to allow for a smooth flow of traffic inland. "We do not want to gamble with a single life of a single South Carolinian".
"If I need to evacuate I can go to my son's house", Sparks said as he carted a load of water bottles to his vehicle.
On Wednesday, people across the region rushed to buy bottled water and other supplies, board up their homes, pull their boats out of the water and get out of town.
"We have also touched base with our vendors to ensure we are stocked up and prepared should any delays or shortages occurs as a result" of the storm", she said.
The percentage of customers who may be affected by power outages following Hurricane Florence.
"Usually the north and east side [of the storm] is where we see the highest rainfall amounts and the greatest tornado threat". "I was in the same house and it stood fine".
A steady stream of vehicles full of people and belongings flowed inland Tuesday, and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper tried to convince everyone to flee.
In the first tweet, Alexander Gerst shared images of the Hurricane Florence's eye as the "no-kidding nightmare" storm is swirling above the Atlantic Ocean.
The NHC said Helene was weakening, however, and posed no danger to land.