Even worse: Florence is expected to hover over the Carolinas, whipping hurricane-force winds and dumping relentless rain at least through Saturday.
More ominously, forecasters said the onslaught would last for hours and hours because Florence was barely creeping along at 6 mph (9 kph) and still drawing energy from the ocean.
Florence, which has been branded a once in a lifetime hurricane, crashed into the coastline on Friday morning.
But North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned: "Don't relax, don't get complacent".
Winds bent trees toward the ground and raindrops flew sideways as Florence moved in for an extended stay, with enough of its killer winds swirling overseas to maintain its power.
The Verge says the Weather Channel has partnered with augmented reality company The Future Group to create the videos, which use the Unreal Engine, a video game development platform seen in many popular games today. But these winds combined with a giant storm surge and deluge of rain are brewing havoc along the coast.
More than 12,000 people were in shelters in North Carolina and 400 in Virginia, where the forecast was less dire.
On Friday, coastal streets in the Carolinas flowed with frothy ocean water, pieces of torn-apart buildings flew through the air, and at least 525,000 homes and businesses were without power, almost all of them in North Carolina.
Florence's center will be moving inland very soon, said the National Hurricane Center in its 5 a.m. update, but it's expected to slow down after it reaches the coast Friday. "We can not underestimate this storm".
After criticism for its response in Puerto Rico to last year's Hurricane Maria, which officials there said was responsible for 3,000 deaths, Trump has vowed a vigorous response to Florence and defended his handling of Maria.
Over 1,400 flights have been cancelled, according to FlightAware.com, as most of the coastal region's airports are closed to ride out the storm. "Trees are blowing down in the wind". Some of the few people still left in Nags Head on the Outer Banks took photos of angry waves topped with white froth.
Wilmington resident Julie Terrell was plenty concerned after walking to breakfast past a row of shops fortified with boards, sandbags and hurricane shutters.
"I've never been one to leave for a storm but this one kind of had me spooked", he said. "Because it's Mother Nature".
The area is expected to get about as much rain in three days as Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd dropped in two weeks in 1999.
Up to 10 million people lie in the path of the storm, which still poses a risk to life and property, although it has been downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane. "Whether you have a house or not, when the storm comes it will bring everyone together".
In the video, the astronauts expressed awe at the size of the storm, while also pointing out Isaac, a former tropical storm now making its way through the Caribbean. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.
There's no doubt that Hurricane Florence is going to have a devastating effect on the east coast of the US.
And now, many more people, houses and buildings are set to endure hurricane-force winds, which extend 80 miles out from Florence's center. Some residents have reported that they are trapped in their attics and on their roofs as storm surge has flooded the lower levels of their homes.