State and local officials warned residents to remain vigilant as Hurricane Florence battered the Carolina coastline with 100-mph winds and surging sea levels.
At least 88,000 people were without power in North Carolina with the brunt of the storm yet to come, according to the state's emergency management agency.
Students who are affected by Hurricane Florence, including those at Northeastern's campuses in Boston, Charlotte, Seattle, Toronto, and Silicon Valley, are encouraged to use Northeastern's We Care program, which provides support to students during challenging times.
Florence was downgraded overnight to a category one hurricane - with 90mph (145kmh) winds - but forecasters have warned that conditions will only get more lethal as the storm pushes ashore in the early hours of Friday morning. A Wilmington mother and her infant child were the first two fatalities attributed to the storm.
He said hurricane-force winds extend outward 130 km (80 miles) from the centre of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extend almost 322 km (200 miles) out.
With a storm surge warning in effect, the authorities urged people to prepare themselves for the disaster. Rainfalls up to 40 inches (102 centimeters) in some places are expected in a region ranging from coastal North Carolina to northeastern SC, with flash flooding likely, according to the NHC.
Cooper also wanted to remind folks to not drive on roads covered by water, and to stay away from doors and windows during the worst of the storm.
Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly.
Forecasters anxious the storm's damage would be all the worse if it lingered on the coast.
"Now we just have to figure out how to get hot coffee", said Mary Holland, standing on the porch of her home that was built in 1889.
"I just don't want to leave and take a chance and not be able to get back in", Green said. "Today the threat becomes a reality". # Florence will make landfall in the next 36-48 hours and bring with it, 6-9 feet of potential storm surge.
There are reports of more than 80,000 people without power in North Carolina.
The flooding soon spread into SC, swamping places like North Myrtle Beach, in a resort area known for its white sands and multitude of golf courses.
No matter how devastating or catastrophic a hurricane or typhoon is predicted to be, there will inevitably be some people who refuse to evacuate and insist on riding the storm out-and with Hurricane Florence getting ready to assault the Carolinas, some residents of coastal areas in North and SC are doing exactly that.
The National Weather Service office in Newport, North Carolina, in a tweet called the storm surge "catastrophic".
"This is going to be a bad, bad situation". While most golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area were open within two weeks of Hurricane Matthew in 2016, Florence could be different because it's forecast to deliver a 13-foot (4-meter) ocean surge and flooding rains.
Utility companies are predicting power outages that could reach between one-to-three million across both North and SC for days and possibly weeks.
Scientists said it is too soon to say what role, if any, global warming played in the storm. "I've never been one to leave for a storm, but this one kind of had me spooked".
For people living inland in the Carolinas, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest. Fallen trees and freshwater flooding may require extensive cleanup, even if they don't damage clubhouses, equipment sheds or other infrastructure.