Residents are stockpiling bottled water, plywood, and power supplies.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Florence had racked up winds of 130mph and is on a trajectory which suggests its centre is most likely to hit the south coast of North Carolina by Friday. She said city emergency personnel met Monday to review plans and a state of emergency was declared.
The storm could also to affect weather here in the United Kingdom, though the Met Office has said it is "uncertain" about what the impact could be.
A new storm has also started forming over the northwestern Caribbean Sea is producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms between Cuba and Honduras, according to the NHC.
Florence is moving toward the west near 6 miles per hour, and this general motion is expected to continue today.
The message came two days after Gov. Henry McMaster ordered a mandatory evacuation of coastal counties because of Hurricane Florence. The forecast is for landfall to occur overnight Thursday into Friday morning.
The storm's 175-mile (282 km) wide "cone of probability" suggests the storm will likely hit North Carolina's coast near Cape Fear, but storms fall outside the cone one-third of the time, according to The Weather Channel.
"If you are in an area that is on the National Hurricane Center (NHC) website you can take a look at the storm surge map - you can see what area you are in".
While impacts across western North Carolina, including Charlotte, remain uncertain, the potential for heavy rain, inland flooding, and gusty winds still exists.
Marshall: When should we now expect landfall along the coast? "Theses swells will result in life-threatening surf and rip currents". So the land can't absorb much more water.
On Sunday, the hurricane center reported that Florence had reached sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour to be classified a hurricane. President Trump said the hurricane is predicted to be one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast in years as he warned residents to be prepared and to be careful.
The hurricane's path was still far from certain this morning.
During a press conference on Saturday, the governor issued an executive order declaring a State of Emergency for the state of SC.
Grocery stores began selling out of water, milk and bread, and supply stores were struggling to stock batteries, plywood and generators as early as Sunday.
Hurricane watch: Edisto Beach, South Carolina to South Santee River, South Carolina and North of Duck, North Carolina to the North Carolina/Virginia border. "They're buying six and seven of everything".
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