Florence is also expected to lose speed and "hover" once it reaches the coast, which will intensify the impacts of its heavy rainfall and storm surges, Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center (NHC), said in a Facebook Live update earlier today.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content.
A woman walks her bike across a street near a boarded up bar a day before the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Wilmington.
But its slow march over the two states, crawling west at only 3 miles per hour (6 km per hour), is expected to leave large parts of the region deluged in the coming days, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said late Saturday.
Tropical storm-force winds extended 195 miles from Florence's centre, and hurricane-force winds reached out 70 miles. Eventually, Florence will veer north into the Appalachian Mountains, bringing soaking rains to Virginia and western North Carolina, before sputtering out late next week near DE and Maryland, the FWS reported.
Life-threatening storm surges of up to 13 feet were also forecast in some areas along with the possibility of tornadoes in North Carolina.
"In most hurricanes, we worry about our line and equipment being blown down to the ground", said Pettit.
Hurricane and tropical storm watches have been posted for several Caribbean islands as a weakening Tropical Storm Isaac continues its trek toward the Leeward and Windward Islands.
Transportation companies in Georgia and the Carolinas sprinted to secure property and employees in the path of Hurricane Florence on Wednesday as disruptions to the USA supply chain were already being felt.
"This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", according to NHC.
Jeff Byard, who is the FEMA associate administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery, said that Florence is "a very unsafe storm", Fox News reported.
Duke Energy, the second-largest energy company in the United States, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its four million customers in the Carolinas.
The storm is not expected to change much in strength before making landfall.
People fleeing coastal North and SC clogged highways Wednesday as Florence bore down for a direct hit in the low-lying region dense with beachfront vacation homes.
Tropical Storm Florence dumped "epic" amounts of rain on North and SC as it trudged inland on Saturday, knocking out power and causing at least eight deaths as flood waters that have devastated many communities kept rising.
With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand.
She said: "Helene is moving up from the Atlantic towards us".
- Putting the enormity of Hurricane Florence into perspective
- Razer Phone 2 gets ready to make an October 10 debut
- Maurizio Sarri rules Chelsea out of the Premier League title race
- Flights cancelled in the US Southeast as Hurricane Florence approaches
- White House considered replacing FEMA administrator
- Hurricane Florence: Residents told to ‘heed the warnings’
- Super Typhoon Mangkhut makes landfall in the Philippines
- Florence expected to weaken as flood risk rises
- Roberto Firmino: Liverpool striker 'OK' after eye 'scare'
- FEMA update on Hurricane Florence