While Florence was downgraded from a Category 4 to 2 on Wednesday due to its declining wind speed, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) emphasized on Twitter Thursday morning that "life-threatening storm surge flooding, catastrophic flash flooding, and prolonged significant river flooding are still expected".
Just below the border, in Horry County, S.C., officials instituted a curfew on Thursday, to last from 7 p.m.to 7 a.m. every day "until further notice".
In Sea Breeze, Roslyn Fleming, 56, made a video of the inlet where her granddaughter was baptized because "I just don't think a lot of this is going to be here" after the storm.
Dominion Energy, which provides power in the northeastern corner of the state, is also reporting about 75 scattered outages.
Don't pay too much attention to the storm's "category" - the fact that Florence is now a Category 1, for example.
"Go ahead and go - even those who are season-veterans that weathered other storms in the past", Knight said.
McMaster has ordered evacuations along much of the state's coast.More news: Hurricane Florence downgraded to Category 2; still a unsafe storm
When a college football game was canceled due to Hurricane Florence, one of the team's decided to make the best out of the situation. Tropical-storm-force winds are between 39 and 73 miles per hour.
Officials say Hurricane Florence could bring not only flooding but also landslides to SC.
Florence makes landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina as the Category 1 hurricane strikes coast. Millions of people were expected to lose power from the storm and restoration could take weeks.
In Shallotte, N.C., a coastal town near the border with SC, emergency orders forced a Waffle House to shut down - an act that was widely seen as a sign of respect for Florence's imposing size and strength. O'Shaughnessy, head of US Northern Command, said search and rescue would be a top priority, but weather may prevent rescuers from getting in during the hours immediately after the storm hits.
Gillikin says the North Carolina Coastal Reserve stands ready to respond with whatever resources they can to help any animal suffering after the storm.
The wave action and strong winds of Florence will cause a large amount of water to pile up along the coast of North and SC. "Today the threat becomes a reality", he said.
Roads and intersections on North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier islands were already inundated with water. Residents are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew and communities with financial struggles are slow to rebuild after a major disaster.More news: Almost 40 fires and explosions erupt in MA
"If you find yourself here [in rising floodwaters], you need to get out", she said.
"Either no (hotel) rooms are available, or we are denied because the breed or size of dogs", she said.
Those surges alone are projected to cause inland flooding of more than 9 feet in cities like New Bern, North Carolina, even without the expected 15 to 20 inches of rain. They also have three dogs and three parrots.
Officials in several states have declared states of emergency, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms.
Cramer says they are expecting ocean water to flow over the sand dunes and bring sand into the town.
Florence is one of four named storms in the Atlantic.More news: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin ‘already married’ two months after getting engaged