Florence, now a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (209 km/h), was previously expected to travel north, up the North Carolina coast, after making landfall, according to the statement.
TRACKING FLORENCE: Stay with The Weather Network online and on T.V. for our exclusive coverage of the storm. While emergency management officials watch closely in the event of changes to the storm's path, Ocean City continues to be open for business.
Industrial waste, including toxic ash from power plants, could also be spread by flooding from the massive storm, which has caused mandatory evacuations of coastal areas in both Carolinas and Virginia, the AP reports.
Here are five recent images featuring Hurricane Florence.
And during last year's Hurricane Irma, officials said 12 people died in Florida's Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills after temperatures in the nursing home rose to 99 degrees.More news: Russian Federation identifies 2 suspects in Skripal poisoning case - Putin
Fox News reported that sustained winds were picking up a bit along the North Carolina coast.
Duke Energy has around 4 million customers in North and SC, and says it could take several weeks to restore the electricity.
Although the storm has been designated Category 3 rather than 4, emergency services were warning it could hit the coast with the force of a "Mike Tyson punch." A Tropical Storm Warning was issued from the North Carolina/Virginia border to Cape Charles Light, Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.
Its governor, Roy Cooper, told residents "the time to prepare was nearly over".
It has forecasted that parts of North Carolina could receive as much as up to one metre (40 inches) of rain.More news: FDA mulls ban on flavored e-cigarettes
Another commenter said: 'That hurricane better be taking me to dinner first'.
Hurricane Isaac is now moving through the western tropical Atlantic Ocean but will likely bring heavy rain and damaging winds to parts of the Lesser Antilles later this week.
Mr Graham said the Pamlico and Neuse rivers in North Carolina will see their flows "reversed" as storm surges push water back inland.
Reacting to the possibility of a more southerly track, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared an emergency but did not immediately order any evacuations.
Hurricane Florence weakened to a Category 2 storm, according to the 11 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, and it will likely remain at Cat 2 strength upon making landfall. "We just need to figure out how to make it through".More news: Death Toll Rises To 32 In Nangarhar Explosion