Florence's top winds are estimated at 105 miles per hour - Category 2.
At a press conference Thursday morning, officials stressed that Hurricane Florence's wind speed may have fallen, but the danger has not. The islands could see storm surge up to 13 feet, as well as over 30 inches of rainfall in the span of just a few days.
With the storm already making an impact on the coastline, these are the most commonly asked questions, answered by the NBC Charlotte First Warn Storm Team.
Florence has it all: Hot ocean temperatures that fuel hurricanes.
In North Carolina, Florence is expected to dump up to 40 inches of rain and storm surge will be high.
There remains uncertainty regarding the precise track of Florence.
Where is Hurricane Florence now?
Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as a Category 1 with winds less than 160 kmh, but that's still enough to cause at least US$1 billion in damage.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for north of Duck, NC, to Cape Charles Light, VA, for Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort, and for Edisto Beach, SC, to South Santee River, SC.
Astronaut Alexander Gerst captured this image of Hurricane Florence from the space station on September 12, 2018. It says the threat of freshwater flooding will increase in coming hours and days from the storm's heavy rains. "A turn to the west-northwest and west at an even slower forward speed is expected tonight and Friday, and a slow west-southwestward motion is forecast Friday night and Saturday". That is because officials are more confident that the storm will head north sometime late Sunday or early Monday.
Anxious about how the government will respond to Hurricane Florence's devastation?
Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach around 7:15 a.m. Friday as a Category 1 storm. This dock, which should be a good four or five feet down only have about another foot or two left on those pedal stools before this and about seven or eight of these other docks come away and become sort of moving barges of destruction throughout this city.
Duke Energy, the nation's No 2 power company, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.
Janey Camp, a research associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Vanderbilt University, said the "biggest concern" for those not along the coast "is the deluge of precipitation that comes with" hurricanes. On Thursday morning, South 17th Street, usually teeming with commuter traffic by 6:30 a.m., was almost devoid of cars. While the storm has weakened from a wind speed standpoint, the wind field has grown by almost 200 miles, according to Mulcahy. We will also start to see some intermittent rain as the outer bands of Florence move in this morning. Considered a "large hurricane", Florence's hurricane-force winds extend 80 miles outward, the NHS reports.