The hurricane center's projected track Wednesday had Florence hovering off the southern North Carolina coast from Thursday night until landfall Saturday morning or so, about a day later than previously expected.
This storm is a slow-moving mammoth and will linger for days on the coast, heavily affecting not only North and SC but also Georgia and parts of Virginia before moving further inland, causing devastation to entire states throughout the weekend. They said torrential rains in the mountains could easily cause flash floods, leading to extensive damage.
Hurricane Florence shifts south as Georgia and Carolinas hunker down
Almost 1000 prisoners in SC will not be moved from their cells, despite a mandatory evacuation order in the area.
"This is not going to be a glancing blow, " warned Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "What is flooding going to do to our home, our city?"
Dozens of residents have vowed to ride out Hurricane Florence when it smashes into the Carolinas on Friday despite authorities warning that people will die.
The threat has sparked a rush of evacuation efforts in SC and North Carolina, with more than a million people urged to get out of Florence's way. More than 1 million residents have been ordered to evacuate from the coastline of the three states, while university campuses, schools and factories were being shuttered.More news: Trump Jr. says father trusts few people after anonymous op-ed
Forecast models have said that several feet of heavy rain could cause flooding well inland from the coast.
The forecasters also expect that there will be a 90 percent chance of tropical storm force winds for parts of the storm.
Additionally, there will be damaging winds that could top 100 miles per hour, isolated tornadoes, and "devastating" storm surge.
One woman told MSNBC she would be staying at home in Wilmington, NC with her two children despite the storm.More news: Nicki Minaj Says She's 'Mortified' Over Cardi B Brawl in NY
As of 8 a.m. ET, Florence was 530 miles southeast of Cape Fear, N.C., moving west-northwest at 17 mph, the National Hurricane Center says.
The soaked ground and fierce winds could bring down trees and power lines and knock out electricity for weeks.
However, the shift could place much of North Carolina on the storm's right side - or "dirty side". "It is an extremely, dangerous, life-threatening, historic hurricane", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said. As it turns into southern SC. The location was determined based on the track of Hurricane Florence and lodging availability, along with lessons learned from recent past difficulties returning home to an area impacted by widespread flooding.More news: China's trade surplus with U.S. continues to rise