A view of Hurricane Florence is shown churning in the Atlantic Ocean in a west, north-westerly direction heading for the eastern coastline of the United States, taken by cameras outside the International Space Station on September 12, 2018.
Hurricane Florence has changed course, according to the latest weather models.
In the 11 p.m. ET advisory, Florence was 280 miles southeast of Wilmington, NC, packing maximum-sustained winds of 110 mph and moving to the northwest at 17 mph.
Some forecasters have predicted it could be the most powerful storm ever to hit the region. "While we can't attribute this hurricane exclusively to climate change, we do expect these types of intense hurricanes to happen more often as the world warms".
It is then expected to drift southwest along the shoreline before moving inland on Saturday, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
'I can't emphasise enough the potential for unbelievable damage from wind, storm surge and inland flooding with this storm'.
But the hurricane center said it is "still forecast to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane when it nears the US coast late Thursday and Friday". In South Carolina, Beaufort County Emergency Management Division Commander Neil Baxley told residents they need to prepare again for the worst just in case.
"While some weakening is expected on Thursday, Florence is forecast to be an extremely risky major hurricane as it approaches the US coast".
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There are generally three components to a hurricane; strong winds, storm surge and heavy rain.
"I'm staying. The building's solid and Buddha will protect us", she told AFP news agency.
Leaders of the states in the path of the storm have warned people all week to evacuate the most susceptible areas.
North Carolina has had this problem before.
"This is a very risky hurricane", Mr McMaster said, adding that the evacuation order for coastal counties was "mandatory, not voluntary".
In South Carolina, traffic along parts of Interstate 26 and USA 501 has been directed away from the coast.
When the National Hurricane Updates shared a map of the category four hurricane, dubbed "the storm of a lifetime", on Facebook, people were quick to compare the pink round-headed shape displaying the devastation to something a lot less serious.
Nathan Deal issued an emergency declaration for the entire state to ease regulations on trucks hauling gasoline and relief supplies.
Those intending to leave face a race against the clock to flee the island town just east of the port city Wilmington, as drawbridge access to it will be raised Wednesday evening.
It was a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm but was expected to keep drawing energy from the warm water and intensify to near Category 5, which means winds of 253 kph or higher.