The following content is sourced from external partners.
The South Carolina Department of Corrections says some prisoners were moved in a Pee Dee facility ahead of Florence's approach toward the coast.
"A turn toward the west-northwest and west at a slow forward speed is expected through Friday, followed by a slow west-southwestward motion Friday night and Saturday", the NHC said.
The hurricane's storm surge - the wall of water it pushed in from the Atlantic - had "overwhelmed" New Bern, a town of about 30,000 people at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said. That same area experienced risky flooding after Hurricane Matthew in 2016. At least two dozen utility trucks gathered near Charlotte Motor Speedway to prepare to move in and start restoring power as soon as conditions are safe.
Officials say Hurricane Florence could bring not only flooding but also landslides to SC.
As of late Tuesday evening, Florence was located approximately 600 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina. It caused most of the 1,200 deaths in Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
United States weather authorities say that as of Wednesday night, local time, Hurricane Florence was moving northwest over the Atlantic and is expected to hit North Carolina on Friday afternoon.
"I've never seen the president and all these other people talk the way they're talking", he said while waiting for an evacuation bus.
Forecasters warned that drenching rains of 1 to 3½ feet as the hurricane-turned-tropical storm crawls westward across North and SC could trigger epic flooding well inland over the next few days.
Seven-day rainfall totals are forecast to reach 10 to 20 inches over portions of North Carolina.
Some predictions are calling for Florence to dump as much as 10 trillion gallons of rain on the region.
Jeff Byard, who is the FEMA associate administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery, said that Florence is "a very risky storm", Fox News reported.
Florence had been a Category 3 hurricane with 120 miles per hour winds on Thursday but dropped to Category 1 before coming ashore.
A mother and baby were killed when a tree fell on a house, according to a tweet from Wilmington police. Despite the downgrade, Florence is expected to produce catastrophic flooding throughout the Carolinas.
"Currently ~150 awaiting rescue in New Bern", the city's Twitter page said late Thursday. Some local residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit early on Friday.
"I am anxious about what I might find when I go home, though", she said.
In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull dozens of people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse.
"We hope to have something left when we get home", she said.
Almost one year after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, killing more than 1,400 Americans and leaving the island largely powerless for months, President Donald Trump issued a message on Hurricane Florence: "We're ready".