Time is running short to get out of the way of Hurricane Florence, a monster of a storm that has a region of more than 10 million people in its potentially devastating sights.
"But looking back at the forecast tracks for Hurricane Florence from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the ensemble members of the leading global forecast models a couple of days ago, what stood out was how relatively straightforward they were", RMS said. Chris Horne, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Greer, S.C., says the best chance for the heaviest rainfall will be Saturday night and Sunday.
The centre urges people within the affected areas to take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other unsafe conditions.
Duke Energy said Florence, a Category 2 storm, could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks. "I've got four cats inside the house".
It was forecast to make landfall mid-day Friday near Cape Fear, North Carolina, bringing up to 40 inches (1 metre) of rain, and storm surges as high as 13 feet (4 meters), the NHC said.
If the European model is true or the overall trend persists, University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said it "is exceptionally bad news, as it smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".
Oddly, the closer Hurricane Florence gets to land, the murkier its future gets. Florence is now expected to begin delivering tropical storm-force winds in the region by early Thursday, escalating to hurricane-force winds by late Thursday or early Friday.
But the most unsafe threat comes from Florence's rains and storm surge, which could bring flooding far inland.
Bertha Bradley said she has never favored evacuating ahead of hurricanes.
Hurricane Florence to 'bring Mike Tyson punch to Carolina coast'
A Hurricane Warning from Duck, North Carolina south into SC , including Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. We'll keep you updated on this system in the coming days.
Tropical Storm Florence continued to dump torrential rainfall on the Carolinas, posing a deadly flooding threat for millions.
Antonio Ramirez, a construction worker from El Salvador living in Leland, North Carolina, said he planned to ride out the storm with his dog Canelo.
In South Carolina and other parts of North Carolina, rain could be 6 to 12 inches, isolated up to 24 inches.
High tides and increasing sea levels from climate change can magnify the effects of storm surge, and surge doesn't necessarily weaken in step with wind speeds.
"When you are looking at a storm surge of this magnitude, where the National Weather Service says that the damage is going to be unbelievable and that they can not emphasize that enough, we know that that is a message that we should listen to", said Cooper. More than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out.
Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly.
In addition, the threat of storm surges looms for areas in the path of the storm, meaning life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland is possible.
As of 11am local time, Florence was centred about 145 miles south east of Wilmington and its forward movement slowed to 10mph.