And cameras aboard the International Space Station managed to catch incredible footage just a few minutes after the storm's landfall.
Florence had been a Category 3 hurricane with 120 miles per hour winds on Thursday but dropped to Category 1 before coming ashore.
Yesterday, the European Space Agency released a short video of astronauts aboard the space station watching the storm out of the cupola armed with powerful cameras to capture its giant knot of storm clouds.
Forecasters said the Category 1 storm's extreme size meant it could batter the U.S. East Coast with hurricane-force winds for almost a full day.
As Florence raged, a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico brought heavy rain to already saturated areas along the Texas coast, resulting in street flooding and prompting some schools to cancel or cut short classes.
One resident, 67-year-old Linda Smith, told the MailOnline: "We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now". It's expected to move slowly over eastern SC on Friday night through Saturday night. Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it was unclear how many did. The homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions.
That said, the storm is still expected to stall once it hits the Wilmington coast, with weather officials early Thursday raising the expected total rainfall for Wilmington to 35 inches - weather officials had predicted 30 inches for Wilmington in briefings released Wednesday.
It will likely come on shore Friday near Wilmington, North Carolina.
The bulk of the three media briefings held by police chief Dan House surrounded how they were still anticipating the serious and catastrophic storm surge as well as hurricane force winds.
A view of Hurricane Florence is shown churning in the Atlantic Ocean in a west, north-westerly direction heading for the eastern coastline of the United States.
Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause enormous damage similar to what Houston, Texas, saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping thousands of homes and businesses. "So if you're on the beach the time to go is now". "We are totally prepared", Trump said at the White House.