Elder relatives carry as much weight as meteorologists in a tight-knit community of slave descendants on the SC coast. Heavy rainfall began after dark.
The News & Observer reports that the storm's path shifted early Wednesday and it is now bearing down on southern North Carolina and northern SC, where it could dump up to 40 inches of rain in places.
Masters said there's a tug-of-war between two clear skies high pressure systems - one off the coast and one over MI - and the more the Great Lakes one wins, the more southerly Florence will be.
The wide storm weakened to a Category 3 hurricane Wednesday and forecasters expect it to weaken further as it nears the shore.
Update: As of 5:30 a.m. Thursday morning, Hurricane Florence has dipped to a Category 2 hurricane strength with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned that "disaster is at the doorstep", and "tens of thousands" of buildings may be flooded. According to the National Weather Service, the waves are produced by being trapped along with very strong winds moving in the same direction as the storm's motion.
"This is a horrific nightmare storm from a meteorological perspective", University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd said.More news: Trump denies 3,000 Puerto Ricans died due to Hurricane Maria, blames Democrats
The Michigan-sized storm is set to linger for days and cause catastrophic flooding with up to four feet of rain and 13-foot storm surges.
He was acting on a recommendation from Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency officials (GEMA/HS).
"On a scale of 1 to 10, I'm probably a 7" in terms of worry, she said. It's called Mother Nature. That's enough water to fill the Empire State Building almost 40,000 times.
Homeless after losing her job at Walmart three months ago, 25-year-old Brittany Jones went to a storm shelter at a high school near Raleigh.
Susan Faulkenberry Panousis said she has stayed on Bald Head during prior hurricanes, but not this time.
"Get out of its way, don't play games with it, it's a big one, maybe as big as they've seen", Trump said. "Whether you have a house or not, when the storm comes it will bring everyone together. A storm can come and wipe your house out overnight".More news: EU's Juncker wants bigger global role for euro
The country's No. 2 power company said Wednesday that it's anticipating 1 million to 3 million homes and businesses could lose power for lengthy periods, depending on the storm's track. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.
Forecast models predict Florence's center may slow to a crawl just off North Carolina early Friday and make a southwesterly turn - punishing the coast while moving perhaps only 2 to 3 miles per hour.
Is global warming to blame? Hurricane Helene is threatening no one in the Atlantic. The shopping list for people who have chose to ride out the storm at home: plywood to board up their windows, sandbags, bilge pumps, generators, trash bags, potato chips, bottled water and wine.
Frustrated after evacuating his beach home for a storm that was later downgraded, retired nurse Frederick Fisher grumbled in the lobby of a Wilmington hotel several miles inland. "If I can't get back in a week, after a while they might turn on each other or trash the place".
The police chief of a barrier island in Florence's bulls'-eye said he was asking for next-of-kin contact information from the few residents who refused to leave.
"I was born here", he told me today.More news: Roxanne Pallett will return to TV on 'Celebrity Coach Trip' revival