More than 1 million people have been issued evacuation orders along the coastal areas of Virginia, North Carolina and SC, as the storm is not expected to weaken until it makes landfall Thursday in the Carolinas.
Everyone "from SC into the Mid-Atlantic region should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials", the hurricane center urged ahead of Florence's expected landfall on Thursday or Friday.
"Dangerous Florence", as the official update calls it, is highly likely to bring with it life-threatening storm surges and catastrophic flash flooding, and damaging hurricane-force winds across vast stretches of SC and North Carolina.
Hurricane Isaac has seriously weakened recently due to the wind shear in the Atlantic.
It said that maximum sustained winds are near 75 miles per hour with higher gusts and that additional strengthening is expected over the next day or two.
Its expected sluggishness is becoming more common, possibly a result of climate change, said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate scientist and hurricane expert Jim Kossin.
At 5 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Florence was 575 miles east of Cape Fear, N.C., moving west-northwest at 17 mph.
Florence, it added, is also expected to strengthen even more over the next several days before it is forecast to hit the southeastern United States on Friday morning at around 8 a.m. local time, September 14.
Higher sea levels to make a storm surge worse.
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"We want residents to prepare accordingly".
"This storm is a monster", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said. "People are doing a pretty good job now". Florence is projected to make landfall Thursday afternoon or evening near the Carolina border. That would mean more flooding rains across a large part of the U.S. South, expanding the damage, according to Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler with Enki Research in Savannah, Georgia.
"It's not just the coast", Mr Graham said.
"This is not going to be a quick hit across the coast", he said. Farmers will be using the next several days to prepare for the storm, he said.
Even before it officially arrives, Florence will push tall waves far ahead of it. Catastrophic floods could follow if the storm stalls inland, it said. Another four million people are under a tropical storm watch. For those not in the storm's direct path, officials are still warning about the residual high winds, heavy rain, and potential flooding. With little wind shear to pull the storm apart, hurricane-strength winds have been expanding to 40 miles (64 kilometres) from the eye of the storm, and tropical-storm-force winds 150 miles from the centre. After that point, it would be hard for people in the storm's path to either finish preparations or flee affected areas.
Hurricane Florence has intensified to a Category 4 Hurricane after it was reduced to a tropical storm over the weekend. The storm is expected to strengthen again over the next day or so. She said it was built in 2009 in Buxton, North Carolina, up on a ridge, and made to withstand a hurricane.
"This has an opportunity of being a devastating storm". And the longer a hurricane hovers over land, the more rain it dumps on the same place.
"This is going to produce heavy rainfall, and it may not move very fast".
"There's 25% more people living between Charleston (South Carolina) and Morehead City (North Carolina) than there were when Hugo was making landfall", CNN meteorologist Myers said. "Storm surge and hurricane watches could be issued for portions of these areas by Tuesday morning", the NHC said, adding that at 11:00 a.m. "There's no canned goods", Kristin Harrington said as she shopped at a Walmart in Wilmington.