Everyone "from SC into the Mid-Atlantic region should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials", the hurricane center urged ahead of Florence's expected landfall on Thursday or Friday.
"This storm is a monster".
Announcing his evacuation order, SC governor Henry McMaster said an estimated one million people would be fleeing the coast.
He added: "The waves and the wind this storm may bring is nothing like you've ever seen". "This one is different".
Some hoped for divine intervention.
"It's going to be inconvenient but we don't want to risk one SC life in this hurricane", said Gov. Henry McMaster.
With Hurricane Florence approaching the Carolinas, the West Virginia-NC State, East Carolina-Virginia Tech and UCF-North Carolina games scheduled for Saturday have been canceled, it was announced Tuesday. A hurricane watch was in effect for Edisto Beach, South Carolina, to Virginia's southern border, with the first hurricane-force winds arriving late Thursday. "The power is going to be off for weeks and you're going to be displaced from your home and the coastal areas", Brock Long, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) told reporters alongside U.S. President Donald Trump in the White House.
South Carolina's governor ordered the state's entire coastline to be evacuated starting at noon Tuesday, and predicted that a million people would flee. But getting out of harm's way could prove hard.
People across the region rushed to buy bottled water and other supplies, board up their homes, pull their boats out of the water and get out of town. As previously reported by Heavy, the GFS model is still keeping the eye of the storm right on the coast.
Only a trickle of vehicles was going in the opposite direction, including pickup trucks carrying plywood and other building materials.
Large cities and towns that lie within the most threatened zone include Jacksonville, Greenville, New Bern, Morehead City and Kinston, says the center.
The 8 a.m. forecast changes the storm surge watch for the eastern United States, with the worst impact, a surge of up to 12 feet, expected on a stretch from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout in North Carolina.
"Florence is a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale".
By the end of the week, a high pressure system is expected to park itself over Atlantic Canada, blocking Florence from a northerly advance and bringing fair weather to the region.
Many factors could change the path and landfall location of Hurricane Florence, forecasters say, but the models agree its intensity is expected to increase.
Gentry encouraged residents to be prepared for the storm by Wednesday evening and as it closes in, to stay at home. It's going to destroy infrastructure. As much as 10 to 20 inches (250-500mm) of rain is forecast from the Carolinas into Virginia as the storm stalls inland.
As South Carolina braces for Hurricane Florence's potential landfall, Clemson Cooperative Extension agents are offering reminders and resources for maintaining and preparing stormwater ponds in the event that severe weather strikes. "With time, the wind pushes the water into every nook and cranny you can think of", Graham said. Having grown up in storm-prone Florida, she said she's careful not to underestimate any hurricane.
The storm forced people to cut their vacations short along the coast.