Despite its unpredictable path, it was forecast to make landfall near Cape Fear, North Carolina, at midday on Friday.
The head of Duke Energy Corp.'s North Carolina operations says it could take weeks to restore electricity if the company's prediction that 1 million to 3 million of its 4 million customers lose power.
"We're still trying to recover", Pugh said Thursday as he worked to secure a grill and other loose items in a shed before the storm hit.
"The combination of a unsafe storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline", according to the National Hurricane Center.
"It's going to coming roaring up to the coast Thursday night and say 'I'm not sure I really want to do this and I'll just take a tour of the coast and decide where I want to go inland, '" said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private Weather Underground.
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Centre said the storm would weaken after making landfall but also linger, dumping heavy rains for days.
With the hurricane beginning to batter North Carolina, the state's Governor has asked US President Donald Trump for another federal disaster declaration beyond what he declared earlier this week.
At least 88,000 people were without power in North Carolina with the brunt of the storm yet to come, according to the state's emergency management agency.
The storm has slowed considerably and was moving at 5 miles per hour toward the Port City.
Florence is becoming more of a threat to more people - now including some in Georgia - in more ways. "Because it's Mother Nature".
High-definition video from space shows the extreme power of Hurricane Florence
The storm's forward motion has slowed 11km/h since Wednesday (local time), which was predicted as the storm nears the coast. Ten years ago today, Hurricane Ike made landfall as "only" a Category 2 hurricane along Galveston Island near Houston.
Private meteorologist Ryan Maue of Weathermodels.com in an email called the overnight European computer simulation "another model run for the ages". That is enough water to fill the Empire State Building almost 40,000 times.
More than 1 million people will likely evacuate from the storm's path in the Carolinas and Virginia, according to the New York Times. On Thursday morning, she sat on her front porch, a pack of cigarettes on the table next to her. Hardin moved there three years ago, only to have her home destroyed by the flooding caused by Matthew a year later.
She said a hurricane has a way of bringing everyone to the same level. Things are only going to get more wild from here. "Whether you have a house or not, when the storm comes it will bring everyone together".
Though the Waffle House may be open now, it's unlikely that will be the case in the days to come.
Scientists said it is too soon to say what role, if any, global warming played in the storm.
To whip up a monstrous storm like the one chugging for the Carolinas, you need a handful of ingredients - and Florence has them all.
The storm's eye was about 145 miles southeast of Wilmington as of 11 a.m., the briefing said. Grest shot multiple pictures of the storm and posted them online for all the world to see its beauty and fury both.
Authorities pushed back against any suggestion the storm's threat was exaggerated. And yet Florence's eye is still well out to sea.
"On a scale of one to 10, I'm probably a seven in terms of worry, she said".