By early Saturday morning, Florence is expected to have weakened to a tropical storm, and by early Sunday, it will be a tropical depression.
On Wednesday, Florence was downgraded twice from its peak as a Category 4 storm which causes "catastrophic damage".
But that, combined with the storm's slowing forward movement and heavy rains, had North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warning of an impending disaster. That makes sense since the category of a storm is generally determined by its maximum sustained winds; but, researchers have found, the vast majority of deaths (nearly 90%) from hurricanes, tropical storms, or tropical depressions between 1963 and 2012 were attributable to "storm surge, rainfall flooding, high surf, and deaths just offshore". I'm glad we both came to the decision ourselves.
"We're just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time", David Garrigus said.
Hurricane Florence already has inundated coastal streets with ocean water and left tens of thousands without power, and forecasters say that "catastrophic" freshwater flooding is expected over portions of the Carolinas as Hurricane Florence inches closer to the U.S. East Coast.
Close to 165,000 residents in North Carolina are now without power as Hurricane Florence wind's cause havoc.
Some minor flooding was reported on the Outer Banks - barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina - and in some seaside coastal towns, as more than 110,000 power outages were reported statewide.
The storm's center was about 145 miles (235 km) east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as of Thursday night.
Time is running short to flee Hurricane Florence, a monster of a storm zeroing in on the Southeastern coast with more than 10 million people in its potentially devastating sights.
"We have two boats and all our worldly possessions", said Susan Patchkofsky, who refused her family's pleas to evacuate and stayed at Emerald Isle with her husband.
The Charleston area will see winds near tropical storm strength of 40 miles per hour and somewhere between 3 to 6 inches of rain.
A tornado watch was also in effect for parts of North Carolina.
Georgia, where governor Nathan Deal has now declared an emergency, is also thought to be in the firing line.
When it comes to floods, extreme caution has been advised by state and local officials: just several inches of running floodwater can knock a full-grown person off their feet, and just a foot of running water can sweep a medium-sized passenger vehicle off the road. "I'm going to get killed on the road, '" Bradley said.
BB&T, which is based out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina and operates 1,900 branches across the country, is likely to be among the most affected by Hurricane Florence. Instead, they drove 150 miles (240 km) inland to his mother's house in Durham.
Because most are managed as wild animals, numerous horses will be left to fend for themselves, said Paula Gillikin of the North Carolina Coastal Reserve.