Hurricane-force winds began whipping North Carolina as federal emergency management officials warned that the hurricane remained a "very risky storm" capable of wreaking havoc along a wide swathe of the coast.
Officials warn of life-threatening storm surges in North and SC as the hurricane moves towards land with maximum sustained wind speeds of 90mph (150 km/h).
Tens of thousands of homes are already without power and sea water is washing through coastal streets.
If the European model is true or the overall trend persists, University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said it "is exceptionally bad news, as it smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge. For these airports along the coast, like Charleston and Myrtle Beach, the wind and the tidal surge will be the biggest issues".
Around midday, Spanish moss blew sideways in the trees as the winds increased in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City.
The National Hurricane Center warned the threat of tornadoes was increasing as Florence neared shore and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said the heavy rains could trigger landslides in the western part of his state.
Mets' David Wright to return during final homestand, with retirement likely next
The 38th overall pick in the 2001 draft, Wright reached the Majors as a 21-year-old in 2004 and never looked back. Spinal stenosis and other medical problems have sidelined Wright since the 2016 season.
A North Carolina city says about 70 people have been rescued from a hotel whose structural integrity is being threatened by Hurricane Florence.
Click on the videos below for a live look at the storm's impact in North and SC.
"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico", Trump said on Twitter.
Coastal towns in the Carolinas were largely empty, and schools and businesses closed as far south as Georgia.
"On a scale of one to 10, I'm probably a seven in terms of worry, she said". Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.
She said a hurricane has a way of bringing everyone to the same level. While we will see some impacts from the system, they are likely to be when the storm has reached tropical depression status and winds are weaker. However, these two are predicted to not cause as much damage as expected of Hurricane Florence.
Classic Final Fantasy PlayStation Games Are Coming To Switch
It will be joined by the spinoff games World of Final Fantasy: Maxima on November 8 and Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon: Everybuddy! this winter.
One electricity company fears that three-quarters of its four million customers will lose power as a result of the storm, and may not be reconnected for weeks.
With South Carolina's beach towns now 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.
The Wilmington area can now expect 9-to-13-foot storm surges if Florence's peak impact coincides with high tide, Brunswick County coastal areas west of Southport can expect 6-to-9-foot surges. "I've got four cats inside the house".
"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face".
Some of the people escaping the potential wrath of Hurricane Florence are finding shelter here in Northeast Ohio.
The biggest announcements from Apple's iPhone Xs event
Until it was killed off on Wednesday, the iPhone SE had been a rare budget-conscious device from Apple, priced at $US350. The starting price of the new iPhone XS, the successor to the iPhone X , is the same as the iPhone X's: $999.