Hurricane Florence is now expected to head more directly west after making landfall, crossing through SC. Information gathered Tuesday by a hurricane-hunting aircraft suggests it will intensify again as it nears the coast, approaching the 157 miles per hour (253 kph) threshold for a worst-case Category 5 scenario. Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall in the Tar Heel State on Friday. As of the National Hurricane Centre's 8am update (1pm BST), Florence was placed about 530 miles southeast of Cape Fear, Northern Carolina.
Hurricane Florence is blasting toward the Carolinas, carrying sustained winds of up to 130 miles per hour and the threat of "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall", the National Hurricane Center says.
Florence's path has it slowing and spinning just off the coast of North Carolina.
It isn't that Florence's winds aren't a big deal - they are likely to be extremely unsafe and produce deadly flying debris - but there's going to be a potentially historic amount of rainfall inland and powerful storm surge along the coast. The silver lining is that the winds won't be as strong as they would be if the storm just barreled toward the coastline.
Seven-day rainfall totals are forecast to reach 10 to 20 inches over much of North Carolina and Virginia, and even 30 inches in some places.
Compounding the issue of flooding is the type of summer North Carolina has had.
The storm's 175-mile (282 km) wide "cone of probability" suggests the storm will likely hit North Carolina's coast near Cape Fear, but storms fall outside the cone one-third of the time, according to The Weather Channel. Many parts of the Appalachians have been saturated with rain over recent weeks, adding to concerns for flash flooding and mudslides inland.
In the six decades since, many thousands of people have moved to the coast.
The state of North Carolina is preparing for a major storm.
"I'm telling them to go inland, but I'm anxious about the rain and tornadoes too", Roberts said.
Streets were quiet with schools and many offices and businesses closed.
Impassable roads, widespread power and communications outages and uprooted trees are also projected.
The National Weather Service said that more than 5.4 million people live in areas now under hurricane warnings or watches on the US East Coast.
"Hurricane Florence is looking even bigger than anticipated", Trump said. "Also, understand that a lot of people are going to be without power probably for several days if not longer".
Ever since the federal government's inadequate preparation and relief efforts during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 under former president George W Bush, storm preparedness has become an increasingly scrutinized measure of an administration's efficiency.
Duke Energy did not respond to requests for information about specific changes made at Brunswick, other than to say emergency generators and pumps will remove stormwater at the plant if it floods. "We have over 1,800 men and women who have answered the call so far to support our partnered agencies". Folks have come through wonderfully in the past and again in non-affected areas.
"It does look a bit similar to Harvey in a sense that it goes roaring into shore and then comes to a screeching stop", said MIT meteorology professor and hurricane expert Kerry Emanuel. "As this thing increases, we increase our resources".