"This large-scale feature is expected to keep the hurricane moving northwestward today, followed by a turn toward the west at a much slower speed on Friday as the ridge to the north of Florence weakens due to a weak shortwave trough dropping slowly southward from the Ohio Valley", said the NHC in its 11 a.m. forecast discussion.
President Trump spoke with the senators of North Carolina and SC, telling them they have the full support of the federal government and the feds will be there to help with anything their states may need. "The larger and the slower the storm is, the greater the threat and the impact - and we have that".
Appeals to stay safe came from as far away as space.
Scientists said it is too soon to say what role, if any, global warming played in the storm.
The storm is now 85 miles east-southeast of Wilmington with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph, as of the 8 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.
Along North Carolina's Pamlico River, the area is bracing for a storm surge of up to 13 feet, and all low-lying and flood-prone areas are under mandatory-evacuation orders.
Turkish lira hits new high amid rate hike talk
It also said that the "tight stance in monetary policy" would continue until further improvement in the inflation outlook. Phoenix Kalen at Societe Generale said the market was both pleased and confused by the bank's move.
In New Bern, rescue crews saved pulled hundreds of people from flooded homes and still needed to rescue dozens more on Saturday.
Wind and the tidal surge will be the biggest issues for airports in the coastal Carolinas, FlightAware's Orsi said.
He said during a reception for Congressional Medal of Honor recipients at the White House: 'We're getting tremendous accolades from politicians and the people but we are ready'.
"Protection of life is the absolute highest priority", he added.
The center of Florence is expected to approach the coasts of the Carolinas today and move over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern SC tonight and Friday.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference, that a "historic storm" would unleash rains and floods that would inundate nearly the entire state. "To put this in context, we correctly predicted the full extent of Hurricane Harvey's economic damage to be $190 billion past year", AccuWeather founder and president Dr. Joel N. Myers said. Because the showers will last for several days, wet soil will likely lead to plenty of downed trees and power outages in and around Charlotte.
More than 20,000 on NC coast already without power from Florence gusts
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles. Ken Graham, NHC director, said on Facebook the storm surges could push in as far as two miles.
"The time to prepare is nearly over", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a morning news conference. Wind gusts from Florence could reach tropical storm force (39+ mph), while sustained winds are expected to be in the 20-30 miles per hour range.
"The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety", Deal said.
The barrier island of Emerald Isle is under water, with ocean waves rolling in over a six-foot storm surge and crashing into homes.
The Category 3 storm has prompted more than a million people to flee the Carolinas and Virgina, as residents heed dire warnings from officials.
As of 10am Thursday (local time), Florence's top winds were 177km/h, and it was marching northwest at16km/h, about 257km east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and 329km east-southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
In Wilmington, Solange Iliou Thompson closed down her restaurant, Indochine, because all of her employees had left the city.
Hurricane Florence drenches barrier islands
People look out over the surf before Hurricane Florence comes ashore on Carolina Beach, North Carolina on September 13, 2018. The White House on Saturday said President Donald Trump had approved making federal funding available in some counties.