The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that Florence's maximum sustained winds had eased slightly to 115 miles per hour (185 kph) and it had been downgraded to a Category 3 storm from a Category 4 on the five-level Saffir-Simpson wind scale. "This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast".
"We will experience power outages, we will have infrastructure damage, there will be homes damaged, there will be debris on the roads - this will be a storm that creates and causes massive damage to our country", announced Jeffrey Byard, Response and Recovery administrator for FEMA.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said: "Florence is still forecast to be an extremely risky major hurricane when it nears the United States coast late Thursday and Friday".
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, concerned the storm would bring devastation south, issued an emergency declaration for all 159 counties in his state.
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All 22 of the FBS and FCS games scheduled this weekend in South Carolina, Washington, D.C., Virginia and North Carolina were canceled or adjusted in some way due to the storm, according to CBS' Jerry Palm.
Florence could strengthen some over open water and then weaken as it nears land, but the difference won't make it any less unsafe, forecaster Stacy Stewart wrote in a National Hurricane Center discussion.
Map shows probable path of Hurricane Florence.
The threat has sparked a rush of evacuation efforts in SC and North Carolina, with more than a million people urged to get out of Florence's way.
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More than 10 million people are under storm warnings in the Carolinas and Virginia according to the National Weather Service.
Evacuations were imposed for parts of three East Coast states Tuesday as millions of Americans prepared for what could become one of the most catastrophic hurricanes to hit the Eastern Seaboard in decades.
It's this putrid horror that North Carolina is faced with, as Hurricane Florence barrels its way to the US coast.
"There's really not a lot of good news", NOAA flight director Paul Flaherty said on "Shepard Smith Reporting". Although North Carolina is still expected to see the worst of the storm, a more southern track would mean that states further north - like Virginia - could be spared of some nasty weather. Forecasters also were tracking two other disturbances. Most other beachgoers were long gone.
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US President Donald Trump said the "storm looks very bad" and urged people to take precautions. Business owners prepare for Hurricane Florence in Wrightsville Beach, N.C.
"The biggest thing is you're always anxious about yourself and friends and family - and whether they'll have a place to come back to", he said. "You feel like you should have already left".