Florence is expected to strike North Carolina's coast on Friday, then drift southwest before moving inland on Saturday, according to Miami's National Hurricane Center (NHC). The storm is now a Category 3 with 125 miles-per-hour winds.
Expected to make landfall by Friday, the impact of the storm will be widespread, with destructive winds, life-threatening storm surge, unsafe surf, torrential rainfall, flooding and the potential for tornadoes. The National Weather Center said Florence will likely be "the storm of a lifetime" for portions of the Carolina coast. "This will allow us to take care of our community and also be prepared should the need arise to assist others", Walker said.
The coastal surge from Florence could leave the eastern tip of North Carolina under more than 9 feet (2.75 meters) of water in spots, projections showed. This storm is going to be a direct hit.
"He was thinking of coming here until this morning, and now he asked me if I wanted to come up there", he said.
Emergency preparations in SC now include more than 2,100 of the state's National Guard soldiers.
Meanwhile, some of North Carolina's 2,100 industrial-size hog farmers are scrambling to drain waste pools containing manure before the hurricane hits, according to NPR.
Hurricane Florence, a monster of a storm, is barrelling towards the States causing panic across the country, and more than a million people have been evacuated in preparation for landfall.
Areas along the coast from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, NC, including the Neuse, Pamlico, Pungo and Bay rivers may experience storm surges from 9 to 13 feet.
Hurricane Florence is on track to blast the southeastern USA coast with ferocious winds and rain, but it may also swamp hog manure pits and coal ash dumps, spreading their toxins; as well as inundate nuclear reactors in the region, according to news reports. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.
Those mechanical eyes in the sky can track rainfall, the track of the storm, and other metrics helpful for forecasters keeping people updated on the ground.
"This is a hurricane event followed by a flood event", said South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster.
Their entire neighborhood evacuated in Wilmington, North Carolina, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter's one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte.
Terrifying as the situation is (I am regularly checking on my folks, who abandoned Charleston for the highlands of North Carolina), there is a silver lining.