bullseye who asked for next-of-kin contact information from the few residents who refused warnings to leave.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called Florence an "uninvited brute" that could wipe out entire communities as it grinds across the state. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches (10 centimeters) of water, he calculated. Duke anticipates 1 million to 3 million of their 4 million customers in the Carolinas will lose power from Florence.
By 1:50 pm (1750 GMT) the winds had dropped to 75 miles per hour (120 kph) and the center was moving west at a 6 miles per hour (10 kph), the NHC said, and parts of North and SC would get as much as 40 inches of rain (1 meter).
The hurricane center said Florence will approach the coast Friday and linger for a while before rolling ashore. Meteorologists are warning residents of inland Virginia, North Carolina, and SC of possible inland flooding if the storm stalls out as many models are predicting.
Hours before the storm made landfall September 14, workers at New Bern's WCTI-TV NewsChannel 12 had to abandon their studio.
Emergency preparations in the region included activating 2,800 National Guard troops in North Carolina, stockpiling food, setting up shelters, switching traffic patterns so major roads led away from shore, and securing 16 nuclear power reactors in the Carolinas and Virginia.
The hurricane has claimed its first victims as it crashed into North Carolina, making landfall near Wrightsville Beach.
"We're just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time", David Garrigus said.
Authorities in New Bern said more than 100 people had to be saved from floods and that the downtown area was underwater.
"It's going to be bad", said Woody White, a county commissioner.
"We will continue to do all we can to support our neighbors in the Southeast as we prepare for Hurricane Florence", Scott said in a prepared statement Wednesday.
Florence has it all: Hot ocean temperatures that fuel hurricanes.
Florence, for her part, shares similarities with Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in Houston on August 25 of 2017 as a Category 4 hurricane and dumped record-setting amounts of rain.
More than 415,000 homes and businesses were without power September 14 morning according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the nation's electrical grid.
The cone of probability for Hurricane Florence as of 11:00 p.m. EDT, Sept. 12, 2018.