Life-threatening storm surges of up to 13 feet (4m) have been forecast in some areas when the monster storm eventually makes landfall in North and SC.
And the storm is still expected to bring catastrophic winds, rain, storm surges and flooding, the National Hurricane Center briefing said. The storm was a risky Category 4 hurricane Wednesday but was downgraded Thursday night to a Category 1 storm. The category ranking of storms only describes the speed of the storm's sustained winds. It is now at Category 1.
Baker said the rain will bring damaging flash flooding to all areas of the Wilmington region, not just low-lying areas that are particularly vulnerable.
Tornadoes are possible in eastern North Carolina through Friday. That's enough to fill more than 15 million Olympic-size swimming pools. The vivid presentation - powered by the Unreal Engine, most commonly used in video games - seems likely to serve as a more pressing demonstration of the storm's threat than a mere written warning, and that's vitally important for folks in impacted areas.
"It's cumulative damage", Myers said. "The ocean is going to start rising". "So will the power lines, as the trees fall down".
Florence's hurricane force winds now extends 80 miles from the center, while the tropical storm force winds reaches almost 200 miles, according to the National Hurricane Center. As the storm moves inland, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland will also be in peril.
As the southeastern coast braces for the impact of Hurricane Florence, a powerful Category 1 storm, those who live further inland should expect to experience treacherous weather conditions as well.
Several of the images were taken when the ISS was directly over the eye of the hurricane.
Hurricane Florence has begun battering it's way through the North Carolina coastline with heavy rain and high winds in what people fear could lead to the deaths of "a lot of people".
Spokeswoman Diane Villa said some of the larger animals - including bison and elk - will be put in fenced-in yards instead of barns because they do not like being in fully enclosed spaces.
Separately, Toronto-Dominion Bank said it will close 17 of its 61 branches in SC and two of 14 in North Carolina. They also have three dogs and three parrots. Other residents have told CNN they're not evacuating because emergency shelters won't accept pets. "We have a safe basement and generator that comes on automatically".
Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did.
"Your time is running out", Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said midmorning Thursday.
Florence is forecast to hit land on Friday and the U.S. National Weather Service predicts some areas will see more than 750 millimetres of rain.
Roads and intersections on North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier islands were already inundated with water.
The town is less than 5 feet above sea level, and officials worry that as many as 1,000 of its 6,300 residents are planning to stay.
"Even the rescuers can not stay there", he said.
The projected path shows the storm moving from near Wilmington, North Carolina to near Columbia, South Carolina.
'Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you'. Tropical Storm Isaac was expected to pass south of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and Cuba.
The impact is expected to be similar to that of Hurricane Harvey on the Houston area past year, Feltgen said.
A truck drives through deep water after the Neuse River went over its banks and flooded the street during Hurricane Florence September 13, 2018 in River Bend, North Carolina.