However, the remnants of Florence may get drawn into a cold frontal passage early next week. And that's just the prelude to untold days of misery.
The full impact of storm surge on the coast will depend on whether the storm's arrival coincides with high tide. "Tens of thousands of structures are expected to be flooded, and many more by rising rivers and creeks".
Hurricane Florence is now a category 2 hurricane, with winds of close to 110mph (177km/h). And disruptive, unsafe winds regardless of official category. "I'm going to Charlotte".
"Regardless of development, heavy rainfall and gusty winds are expected across portions of northeastern Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana on Friday and Saturday", the hurricane center said.
Richmond has moved its scheduled home football game this week against St. Francis to the Red Flash's field in Pennsylvania because of Hurricane Florence. In 2011, Hurricane Irene caused at least $114 million in damage to tobacco crops - about 20 percent of the state's total revenue for the plant.
Florence's winds and rains began to batter the Carolinas on Thursday. These unforgiving winds will damage homes and buildings, down trees and knock out power.
Little change in strength is expected before the eye of Florence reaches the Carolina coast, with slow weakening expected after the center moves inland or meanders near the coast, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
The other threat for those living along the coast is the wall of water known as storm surge that the hurricane's winds and forward movement push on shore.
USA and Caribbean brace for arrival of Hurricane Florence
Like Hurricane Harvey, which stalled over Texas in 2017, Florence could linger over the Southeast for several days after landfall. He wrote: "My people just informed me that this is one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast in many years".
"Roper St. Francis is open and stocked with water, a dedicated hurricane supply room that includes portable generators and cots, and also has three large CAT generators".
"I've been through hurricanes before but never with kids", she said.
"We have prepared everything", he says, "to have enough food, water, batteries, radio, first-aid supplies, and everything we need to be safe".
"They're all interplaying with one another and it's not a particularly confident scenario", he said.
And there's no way her family could afford that - or the $1,728 per room another hotel quoted. Shelters in the city were filling and some people were being bused inland to Raleigh, even though some residents there were told they might have to evacuate because of flooding.
"But we can't replace us so we chose to come here".
"Against my better judgment, due to emotionalism, I evacuated, " he said. "So since we can find anything within our means, ... we've opted to stay".
"It's going to be bad", said Mr Woody White, a county commissioner. It's a kind gesture but doesn't alleviate Browning's fear. "But I think it'll be OK".
Gov. Henry McMaster has ordered the evacuation of most of the state's coastline as the storm approaches.
Challenger Pressley notches upset victory in MA congressional race
Elsewhere on the ballot, Secretary of State William Galvin fought off a challenge from Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim. She is poised to become the only black member of Massachusetts' mostly male congressional delegation.
Jeff Byard, an administrator at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said: "Do you want to get hit with a train or do you want to get hit with a cement truck?"
Media captionWhy do people ignore hurricane warnings?
In North Carolina, Florence is expected to dump up to 40 inches of rain.
Even miles away from the Atlantic, North Carolina residents in low-lying areas are boarding up and emptying stores.
While the storm's maximum sustained winds edged lower on Wednesday, tropical-storm-force winds have expanded, extending 195 miles outward, putting more people at risk when it finally makes landfall.
"Even the rescuers can not stay there", he said.
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, concerned the storm would bring its devastation south, issued an emergency declaration for all 159 counties in his state. Alexander Gerst/ESA/NASA via AP This image provided by NASA shows Hurricane Florence from the International Space Station on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. "We'll handle it. We're ready, we're able". "If you are on the coast, there is still time to get out safely". The four named storms in the Atlantic come as one in the Pacific is hitting Hawaii.
Atmospheric scientist at the NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction James Kossin explained to Vox why hurricanes during warmer conditions can cause so much rainfall. Hurricane Helene is veering toward Europe. Sustained winds slowed slightly to 125 miles per hour Tuesday afternoon, making it a Cat 3 storm.
Hurricane Florence is producing waves as high as 83 feet
Hurricane Florence has become a category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds at 130 miles per hour as of noon Monday. He underlined the point that even if you call 911, there is a chance rescue services may not be able to get to you.
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