As a Category 3 and 4 storm, Florence has been pushing massive waves toward the East Coast for days, creating the momentum for a pile of ocean water to infiltrate inland. It is now at Category 1.
Avair Vereen, her fiance and one of her seven children at a shelter in Conway, South Carolina yesterday as several states along the USA eastern coast were bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Florence.
He wrote: "Live along areas of the North/South Carolina coast, ordered to evacuate and not going to do it?"
By late Thursday afternoon, Florence's fierce headwinds were already uprooting trees and tearing down power lines and had ripped the roof off of at least one building in coastal North Carolina, according to news station WGHP.
Florence is widely seen as a test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), whose capabilities were stretched thin past year as it responded to three major hurricanes. This means that the water level will be higher than the number of feet predicted in the storm surge.
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for.
Some minor flooding was reported on the Outer Banks - barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina - and in some seaside coastal towns, as more than 110,000 power outages were reported statewide.
In Wilmington, North Carolina, a steady rain began to fall as gusts of winds intensified, causing trees to sway and stoplights to flicker.
Constable said she's prepared for the worst.
"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted around 2 a.m. "But we can't replace us so we made a decision to come here".
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The National Hurricane Center said early Friday that Florence was about to make landfall in North Carolina bringing with it life-threatening storm surge and hurricane strength winds.
The eye of Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall in North Carolina on Friday morning. Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles (150 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles (315 kilometers).
"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the NHC said.
Forecasters predict as much as 101 centimeters (40 inches) of rain for some parts of North Carolina and storm surges as high as 4 meters - taller than many houses.
"We've seen fatalities and deaths from tropical storms, from Category 1 storms and from Category 2 storms", SCEMD's Becker said.
Myrtle Beach, a SC beach resort, was virtually deserted with empty streets, boarded up storefronts and very little traffic.
On Monday, with the storm appearing to shift south, McMaster, the SC governor, ordered schools in Aiken County, near the Georgia line, to close for the rest of the week to free up shelter space for hurricane evacuees. Duke Energy, a local power company, estimated that up to three million customers could lose their supply as a result of Florence. "And I can not stress enough the importance of adhering to the governor's orders for mandatory evacuation".
As the Carolinas braced for the storm Thursday, roads and tourist shops were closed, regional flights were canceled and residents who didn't evacuate were working to protect their property against the severe weather ahead. A 78-year-old man was electrocuted attempting to connect extension cords while another man died when he was blown down by high winds while checking on his hunting dogs, a county spokesman said.
"If you're going to leave. you should leave now because time is running out", McMaster said.
"The idea of having to leave with my two cats and go somewhere for a week or more. once you leave, you don't know how many days it will be before you can return", a Wilmington resident named Kate tells VOA.