"The key really is this thing is going to be a huge storm when it threatens the coast and this is just something that doesn't happen every day when you see things lining up as they are", he continued.
Forecasters are clear: Hurricane Florence is rapidly getting stronger, predictions are dire and the three states in its path are bracing for the worst. The Category 4 storm was moving west-northwest at 17 miles per hour.
To hasten evacuations from coastal SC, officials reversed the flow of traffic on some highways so all major roads led away from shore.
And the storm surge, which could be as much as 12 feet in some areas, will be on top of sea level rise from climate change. It took them almost the whole day Monday to drive the 60 miles off the barrier island.
"It's cumulative damage", Myers said.
Most manure pits could handle up to 25 inches of rain, Curliss said. "That, folks, is extremely life-threatening".
He encouraged citizens to use the time between now and Thursday to prepare and use common sense in staying safe.
President Trump met with federal disaster officials at the White House on Tuesday.
A Category 4 storm has sustained winds from 130 to 156 miles per hour.
Elizabeth City State University announced it was cancelling classes today after noon and starting a voluntary evacuation of student residence halls.
Florence could hit the Carolinas harder than any hurricane since Hazel packed 130 miles per hour (209 kph) winds in 1954. The last Category 4 hurricane to plow directly into North Carolina was Hazel in 1954, a devastating storm that killed 19 people and destroyed some 15,000 homes. In the six decades since then, many thousands of people have moved to the coast.
As of Tuesday, storm surge and hurricane warnings have been issued along the southeast USA coast from parts of Florida to Cape Cod, MA.
- Tornadoes are possible as the storm meanders near or over the Carolinas. The storm's first effects were already apparent on barrier islands as unsafe rip currents hit beaches and seawater flowed over a state highway.
The alerts also mean risky storm surges are likely along the coast and heavy, sustained rains could cause life-threatening flooding inland, the National Hurricane Center warned.
Heavy rainfall - up to 15 inches - for much of northern Virginia and nearly all of the state's eastern half. "The threat will be inland, so I'm afraid, based on my experience at FEMA, that the public is probably not as prepared as everybody would like", said Craig Fugate, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
East Carolina, meanwhile, decided not to travel to Blacksburg, Virginia, for Saturday's game, citing imminent safety concerns before, during and after the storm.
Overnight, Florence went through an "eyewall replacement cycle", senior hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart said in an update from the hurricane center on Tuesday.
Virginia is moving its football game against OH to Nashville, Tennessee due to Hurricane Florence's approach.
The hurricane center warned that the life-threatening dangers associated with the storm were three-fold: first, life-threatening storm surge along the coast, followed by freshwater flooding both along the coast and further inland due to "a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event", and damaging hurricane-force winds.