Another video from NOAA's GOES-East weather satellite caught a different view of Hurricane Florence.
The center of Florence is expected to approach the coasts of the Carolinas today and move over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern SC tonight and Friday.
The barrier island of Emerald Isle is under water, with ocean waves rolling in over a six-foot storm surge and crashing into homes.
The core is also about 60 miles (95 kilometers) east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina.
By 5 a.m. today, the storm was about 205 miles east/southeast of Wilmington, N.C. with 110-mph maximum sustained winds.
Florence is moving toward the northwest near 15 miles per hour, and this general motion, accompanied by a gradual decrease in forward speed, is expected to continue through today. Forecasters said "catastrophic" freshwater flooding was expected along waterways far from the coast of the Carolinas.
Ryan Maue, a meteorologist for Weathermodels.com, tweeted that "the rainfall will add up quickly across the Carolinas but also Virginia" after Florence hits the region.
The NC Coastal Review reported Wednesday that state transportation officials were focused this week on keeping the "island's lifeline" open, in anticipation of 50,000 people using NC 12 as a hurricane evacuation route.
Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington, not far from the SC line, coming ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.
Tens of thousands of people are already without power.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference that the "historic" hurricane would unleash rains and floods that would inundate nearly the entire state in several feet of water.
As of 11 p.m. Wednesday, Hurricane Florence was about 410 miles east-southeast of Sumter, according to a release from the weather service.
Screaming winds bent trees toward the ground and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge moved in for an extended stay along the coast.
Hurricane Florence is closing in on the Carolinas Thursday morning as more than 10 million people brace for the worst.
National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warned that waterways up to 40 miles inland may flood. It says the threat of freshwater flooding will increase in coming hours and days from the storm's heavy rains.
"Surviving this storm will be a test of endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience".
Cooper also requested additional federal disaster assistance in anticipation of what his office called "historic major damage" across the state. Gusty squalls are already impacting the coast. Heavy rains were forecast to extend into the Appalachians, affecting parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.
Prisoners were affected, too.
Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did.
A simulation of Florence for Saturday as the storm tracks over SC.
A Hurricane Warning from Duck, North Carolina south into SC, including Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.
A National Guardsman directs counterflow traffic traveling west from Myrtle Beach on United States 501 as Hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast, Wednesday, September 12, 2018, in Conway, South Carolina.
Incredible amounts of water will fall from the sky over the next several days in the Carolinas.
But early Thursday, webcams showed folks out and about on Beaufort County's beaches even as Florence continued to threaten the mid-Atlantic coast.
While the storm weakened, forecasters still predict up to 9 feet of storm surge in the Myrtle Beach area.
Not everyone was taking Florence seriously: About two dozen locals gathered Thursday night behind the boarded-up windows of The Barbary Coast bar as Florence blew into Wilmington.
"We'll operate without power; we have candles".
Others were at home hoping for the best. "We have two boats and all our worldly possessions", said Susan Patchkofsky, who refused her family's pleas to evacuate and stayed at Emerald Isle with her husband. "We love you all, we want you safe". We chose to hunker down.