Hurricane Florence is now bearing down on the Southeast, specifically the Carolina's, and the slow-moving hurricane has everyone anxious with the amount of rain it could dump, with a potential to cause massive flooding-not to mention the damage from 80 mile-per-hour winds expected later today.
As of 8 p.m., Florence was centered about 85 miles (135 kilometers) southeast of Wilmington, its forward movement slowed to 5 mph (7 kph). "There is no way I'm leaving my child in the middle of a hurricane, there's no way, if she's going I'm going".
Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial waste sites and hog-manure ponds.
Still, the storm has the capacity for huge destruction.
McMaster has ordered evacuations along much of the state's coast. "A storm can come and wipe your house out overnight". Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles.
"I was feeling fine until I woke up this morning and this is a ghost town", said Kristin Beard, a 40-year-old Myrtle Beach marketer. North Carolina corrections officials said more than 3,000 people were relocated from adult prisons and juvenile centers in the path of Florence, and more than 300 county prisoners were transferred to state facilities.
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Centre said the storm would weaken after making landfall but also linger, dumping heavy rains for days. "Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill".
Hurricane warnings are in effect for the South Santee River in SC to Duck, North Carolina, and Albemarle and Pamlico sounds. We have to remember, Florence is a very large storm.
Gradually, Friday through the weekend (local time), the massive storm - containing a zone of tropical-storm-force winds almost 643km wide - will drift inland, engulfing much of SC and southern North Carolina.
ADCIRC predicts Florence's winds will cause 9 to 13 feet of storm surge in some areas along the North Carolina coast. In some counties, almost 1 in 3 people live below the poverty line.
Some 11,000 power outages have been reported in North Carolina.
Associated Press story by Johanthan Drew.
"We try to facilitate. anything that makes a smooth transition from home to shelter", he said.
Over 1,400 flights have been cancelled, according to FlightAware.com, as most of the coastal region's airports are closed to ride out the storm. Most of the damage during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 in North Carolina came from inland flooding - 31 people died and almost 100,000 homes were destroyed.
Florence is one of four named storms in the Atlantic.
Two of them, Itagia VeaVea, 25, and Karen Tominiko, 19, aren't as anxious as the others because they're used to hurricanes in American Samoa. They also have three dogs and three parrots.
He went on to explain as the storm moves inland, and the rivers begin to rise, many people inland will likely need to evacuate as well.
Late Thursday afternoon near the Dockside Restaurant, just across the Intracoastal Waterway from Wrightsville Beach, a group of about a dozen local homeowners stood under a pergola amid sheets of rain.