Florence, a powerful Category 4 hurricane, is expected to make landfall in the Carolinas late Thursday or early Friday but heavy rainfall is expected to hit Georgia to the south.
"Don't play games with it", he added.
"Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km)". "Now it might be time for the exam", Baxley said late in the morning.
While some of the computer forecasting models conflicted, the latest projections more or less showed the storm shifting southward and westward in a way that suddenly put more of SC in danger and imperiled Georgia, too.More news: Everything you need to know about Hurricane Florence
Governors in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia have issued mandatory evacuations and lane reversals. Cars and trucks full of people and belongings streamed inland. But the change was probably temporary and didn't do anything to lessen the danger, said Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Oklahkma helicopter crews will stay in Tennessee until the high winds pass from the hurricane and then assist the Carolinas and East Coast as needed, Macy reported.
Although slow weakening is expected to begin by late Thursday, Florence is still forecast to be an extremely risky major hurricane when it nears the US coast late Thursday and Friday, the NHC added.
With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand.More news: 5 a.m. update: Hurricane Florences projected path shifts
Trojniar said she and her husband were packing up belongings and planned to stack sandbags around their single-floor home in Wilmington's Landfall neighborhood near the ocean before checking into a hotel to ride out the storm.
More than one million people have been ordered to evacuate the coastline of the three states, while university campuses, schools and factories were being shuttered. Most other beachgoers were long done.
"I'm scared we'll get 30 inches or more of rain", said Carol Trojniar, 69, a longtime Wilmington resident and retired real estate agent who has never experienced a Category 4 hurricane. "You feel like you should have already left".
"This morning I drove around for an hour looking for gas in Cary".More news: Satellite view of risky Hurricane Florence at sunrise
"Where else can we go?" she said.