And now, many more people, houses and buildings are set to endure hurricane-force winds, which extend 80 miles out from Florence's center.
He warned of "feet of rain not inches" in the Carolinas and Virginia. The agency is also warning people in the evacuation areas to leave stating that "This is not going to be a glancing blow".
About 300,000 people have been evacuated from South Carolina, McMaster said.
Conditions will deteriorate through Thursday (local time): Starting along the coast, winds will accelerate, the rain will intensify, and the ocean will surge ashore. Most were scheduled for Thursday and Friday. But because the storm was so large it produced a destructive storm surge in New York City, and caused an estimated $65 billion in damage in the United States. He said that the hurricane could only be captured on a super-wide lens, even from 400 kilometres up. Cooper said he hopes more shelters will also open today. On Tuesday (September 11), they published a map to their Facebook page showing the extent of the likely wind damage brought to the U.S. as Florence penetrates the Eastern seaboard.
"So if you're in trouble, you're on your own", Hill added.
"There was no gas yesterday", says Rebecca Segool of Wilmington, N.C. "We have a day off. Let's get drunk!'" Jordan Berry, the barman at a local sports bar, told the site. Some morons will undoubtedly ignore the warnings putting rescuers at risk to get them out.
DeHaan says there's plenty of supply at regional gasoline storage facilities, but the urgent need is making it hard for tanker trucks to refill and then resupply gas stations.
'Monster' Hurricane Florence to pummel US Southeast for days
Sand bags surround homes on North Topsail Beach, N.C., on Wednesday as Hurricane Florence threatens the coast. Tornadoes are possible Thursday in eastern North Carolina. "We'll be on the northwest side of storm".
"The rain's going to be around for a long time", he said.
The hurricane is exposing other chinks in the supply chain, as many retailers big and small are running low on storm-prep essentials, from batteries, generators and plywood to bread and bottled water.
"Power outages will linger the longest and cause the most trouble", Abrams says. "I encourage Georgians to be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas".
"You have water coming onshore and you can rainfall coming down that's trying to move out", he said. REUTERS/Randall HillThe beach along the pier is empty ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, U.S. September 12, 2018.
Air travel could be all but stopped for several days, too. On top of that, a disastrous amount of rain - 500mm, possibly even as much as 1m - is expected to fall. This is just the beginning of what should be a catastrophic storm, with tens of thousands of structures expected to be flooded before it's all said and done.
Anxious about how the government will respond to Hurricane Florence's devastation?
Florence is lashing the state with "heavy rainbands with tropical-storm-force winds spreading across the Outer Banks and Coastal Southeastern North Carolina", the briefing said. Hundreds of miles inland, Charlotte Douglas International Airport already has more than 300 flight cancellations for Thursday and Friday, according to FlightAware.