"Hurricane Florence was uninvited but she's just about here anyway", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference, warning people not to be complacent just because the storm's winds had diminished.
Residents should stay away from doors and windows and stay in the most interior part of the structure they are using for shelter, he said.
Subtropical storm Joyce struggles to hold together in the norther Atlantic. Winds and wind gusts that strong can cause damage to even the most well built, sturdy homes.
Even worse: Florence is expected to hover over the Carolinas, whipping hurricane-force winds and dumping relentless rain at least through Saturday.
Georgia, east Tennessee, and extreme eastern Alabama will feel some of the rain and wind from Florence over the weekend.More news: Scott Morrison: Australia PM puts hands up over 'not OK' lyrics
Rain and have wind started in the town of Morehead City, North Carolina, ahead of Hurricane Florence on September 13. It's also 165 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The storm's forward motion has slowed 11km/h since Wednesday (local time), which was predicted as the storm nears the coast.
Charlotte Douglas officials said they will begin irregular operations Friday, which means essential staff will work 12-hour shifts throughout the duration of the storm.
Another 8 million people live in areas covered by hurricane and tropical storm warnings.
When a college football game was canceled due to Hurricane Florence, one of the team's chose to make the best out of the situation. A tropical storm warning covers the area from north of Duck to the Virgina Tidewater area.
A hurricane watch is in effect for Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River South Carolina. That increases the amount of time people will be stuck under the high wind of the storm. This lasting through several tide cycles potentially.More news: FCC Pauses Proposed Sprint-T-Mobile Merger
Now residents of North Carolina have begun seeing flash flooding as over a foot of rain has been forecasted to fall over the state.
Where exactly the zone of heaviest rain sets up as the storm meanders inland is more uncertain, but models suggest that it may concentrate in southern North Carolina and northern SC through the weekend. It will likely only last a couple of days, before weakening in the northern Atlantic. "I find it amusing that the storm of hysteria is bigger than the storm itself".
The NHC said that Florence has 105 miles per hour winds. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads.
"The time has come to recognize that we can not hold the shoreline still", retired Duke University coastal geologist Orrin H. Pilkey, who has written several books about the impact of sea-level rise, argued in The News & Observer last week. "The infrastructure is going to break, the power is going to go out". And because Hurricane Florence has the potential to stall, it could inflict a lot more damage and cause more severe flooding in North Carolina than Floyd did 19 years ago. But then they gradually diverge.
The next day, he rescinded the order when it appeared the storm was shifting north.More news: Exodus grows as motorists flee from 'big and vicious' Hurricane Florence