Forecasters are predicting that Florence will make landfall in the Carolinas late Thursday or early Friday as a slightly weakened but still unsafe Category 3 hurricane.
With the change in the forecast, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal issued an emergency declaration for the entire state to ease regulations on trucks hauling gasoline and relief supplies, and asked people to pray for those in Florence's path. Florence could bring life-threatening storm surges, up to 13 feet.
Jeff Byard of the Federal Emergency Management Agency invoked a former boxing champion to warn residents that Florence would bring "a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast".
The eye was about 530 miles southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, moving west-northwest at 17 miles per hour.
Hurricane Florence, the Category 2 storm heading straight for my parents' SC house, has the country on high alert.
Hurricane Florence continues its path towards Wilmington and remains a Category 4 storm - but predictions now show the storm stalling over land and taking a more southerly route over the weekend into Monday.
"There's still uncertainty on exactly how inland the hurricane does penetrate".
Liberty Mutual Insurance and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company write the most commercial property insurance coverage in North and SC, according to a report on Wednesday by Moody's, citing data from SNL Financial.
"If I need to evacuate I can go to my son's house", Sparks said as he carted a load of water bottles to his vehicle. For example, the seas off of Wilmington, North Carolina have risen 7.5 inches since 1935, according to NOAA.
"This morning I drove around for an hour looking for gas in Cary".
The throngs of vehicles heading inland demonstrate the big difference between Hazel's impact and the damage Florence could cause, Barnes said. Even if it had hit a hundred years ago, a storm like Florence would be catastrophic, but rising sea levels have lifted the water table, leaving less space for rainwater to drain. "It's sort of like having 33 weather stations out in the middle of the ocean", said flight director Richard Henning. "We have everything. We're ready".
Mass evacuations in the Carolinas and Virginia are starting the clock ticking on business-interruption insurance policies, which help replace lost income for companies when natural disasters strike. "If you are on the coast, there is still time to get out safely". It urged residents to heed evacuation orders.
As Hurricane Florence gets closer to the Carolinas, Hurricane Hunters from the Bay area are flying right into the storm.
The NHC has said these are likely to result in "life-threatening surf and rip current conditions".