New Hanover County officials said Thursday morning that it could accept more residents seeking shelter at Trask Middle School, Eaton Elementary School, Codington Elementary School, the Johnson Pre-K Center and Noble Middle School.
More than 60 people had to be pulled from a collapsing motel at the height of the storm.
It is expected to move across parts of southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.
"Many local communities could be swimming in water for several days".
Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm overnight.
But North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned: "Don't relax, don't get complacent".
Winds bent trees toward the ground and raindrops flew sideways as Florence moved in for an extended stay, with enough of its killer winds swirling overseas to maintain its power. Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.More news: Trudeau disappointed with Ford's constitutional override, but won't intervene
Amber Parker, spokesperson for Craven County, North Carolina, tells Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson that officials are happy to have daylight on their side Friday.
He said there are about 7,000 U.S. military forces now in place and ready to respond to the storm - along with ships, helicopters and high-wheeled vehicles.
Thousands more have been ordered to prepare to deploy if needed.
Long said people in storm-damaged areas need to "get their mindset right".
A hurricane watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, SC, to South Santee River, SC.
The storm's movement, not its strength, has forecasters and officials anxious. Those interested in learning how to help can find more information on North Shore's website.
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Centre said the storm would weaken after making landfall but also linger, dumping heavy rains for days.More news: Trump says United States under 'no pressure' for China trade deal
Florence also blew down trees, including one that went through the roof of Kevin DiLoreto's home in Wilmington.
This will take place heading into early next week.
The MISR passed over the hurricane on Thursday, NASA said. "I have no generator", said Petra Langston, a nurse. "Because it's Mother Nature".
The area is expected to get about as much rain in three days as Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd dropped in two weeks in 1999. "Coastal areas had already begun to experience tropical-storm-force winds, and millions of people across multiple states were under evacuation orders".
"New Bern is just not used to this level of a hurricane", Outlaw said.
The Verge says the Weather Channel has partnered with augmented reality company The Future Group to create the videos, which use the Unreal Engine, a video game development platform seen in many popular games today. "Whether you have a house or not, when the storm comes it will bring everyone together".
The storm is already causing power outages, with Duke Energy reporting almost 240,000 customers have lost power in North and SC - but projects 1 to 3 million people could lose power. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.More news: Satellite view of risky Hurricane Florence at sunrise