"Today is the time to get your preparedness actions complete", he said.
The National Hurricane Center is calling for 10 to 20 inches of rain and 30 inches in isolated spots. "That's the primary driver of the evacuations that are underway by the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia right now".
The fierce winds of Hurricane Florence are weakening as it creeps closer to North Carolina but the impact of the enormous storm will still be catastrophic for millions of people.
Experts are saying Florence, a "monster", could be one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the East Coast.
Dave Clark, senior vice president of operations for the Seattle-based tech giant, tweeted Wednesday about how Amazon teams are already "forward deploying" relief supplies to fulfillment centers closer to what is expected to be the point of impact in the region. Current forecasts call for Florence to be at least a Category 3 storm when it arrives at the Carolinas.
"We will have a powerful storm surge and winds".
'It Wants to Get Stronger': NOAA Hurricane Hunter Flies into Florence
The East Carolina football team went to Orlando early Wednesday ahead of Hurricane Florence , the school said in a press release. Everyone was sold out", she said. "If they're telling you to leave, you have to leave", Graham said.
A state of emergency has also been declared in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington.
The governor wants to avoid a repeat of Hurricane Matthew two years ago, which killed 26 North Carolinians.
The NHC said the first tropical storm-force winds of at least 39 miles per hour (63 kph) would hit the region early on Thursday with the storm's centre reaching the coast Friday.
The slow movement, combined with the massive amount of moisture this storm holds, will bring unsafe rains - from 20 to 30 inches in coastal North Carolina, with 40 inches possible in isolated areas, the weather service says. Yesterday officials in Beaufort County, home to Hilton Head Island, held a news conference and urged people to leave voluntarily. Shelters in the city were filling and some people were being bused inland to Raleigh, even though some residents there were told they might have to evacuate because of flooding.
TRT World's Nicole Johnston is on the coast in Wilmington, North Carolina, where people are preparing for the worst.