SC officials say more than 400,000 people have evacuated the state's coast and more than 4,000 people have taken refuge in shelters as Hurricane Florence approaches.
The Weather Channel's forecast video shows the potential damage such surges could inflict on the southern states. "The larger and the slower the storm is, the greater the threat and the impact-and we have that". "Be careful!" he tweeted Thursday.
Appeals to stay safe came from as far away as space.
Florence's hurricane force winds now extends 80 miles from the center, while the tropical storm force winds reaches almost 200 miles, according to the National Hurricane Center.
More than 10 million people are under watches and warnings, the Associated Press reported.
"We'll handle it. We're ready".
"Protection of life is the absolute highest priority", he added. Sustained winds remained at 90 miles per hour, but the storm - which was never expected to threaten the USA coast - should begin to weaken over the next day and become a tropical storm on Thursday, forecasters said in an 11 a.m. advisory. He also urged those outside of the evacuation zones to be prepared.
"But that's not going to be until Monday", Eliasen said".
Duke Energy said Florence, a Category 2 storm, could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.
Hurricane Florence is now destined to smash straight into North and SC, endangering thousands with extreme winds and heavy rain.
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, concerned the storm would bring its devastation south, issued an emergency declaration for all 159 counties in his state.
But what forecasters are keeping an eye on, in particular, is the forward motion of the storm.
"The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety", Deal said. Unsure of what they might find when they return home, the couple went shopping for a recreational vehicle.
You can also review the South Carolina Emergency Management Division's checklist for preparation. These could be as high as 13ft (4m) along parts of the North Carolina coast.
The eastbound lanes of several major highways have been shut down to allow for a smooth flow of traffic inland.
"All my staff are gone", Thompson said.
"I've watched all the weather and read the local stuff", another resident said. "The building's solid and Buddha will protect us".
"What to do when a hurricane is barreling towards you, school is cancelled for the week, + kids are faaaareaking out?" she wrote on the social media site. "You can't stop Mother Nature". Will the winds be that strong or they'll be stronger when they get here than that?
Bertha Bradley said she has never favored evacuating ahead of hurricanes. "If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have minded staying here". In Virginia, 245,000 coastal residents were ordered to evacuate. Florence is now a strong Category 2 storm. With Hurricane Florence set to wallop the area as a Category 4 hurricane, there are fears the ponds could overflow or even collapse amid extremely heavy rain, sending vast amounts of manure from thousands of farms into rivers and contaminating groundwater.