Computer-model forecasts generally project the storm to make landfall between northern SC and North Carolina's Outer Banks as a Category 4 on Thursday, although shifts in the track are possible and storm impacts will expand great distances beyond where landfall occurs.
The National Hurricane Center downgraded Isaac to a tropical storm overnight but said Tuesday that it could be "at or near hurricane levels" on Thursday, when it approaches the Lesser Antilles Islands.
Just in case anyone thought the post and event was a genuine storm deterrent method, he added: "Note: do not actually discharge firearms into the air".
Hurricane watches and storm surge watches are expected to be issued Tuesday morning ahead of the arrival of Florence.
Total rainfall could reach 30 inches in some places, prompting life-threatening flash flooding from SC to Northern Virginia, inundating several states and triggering life-threatening floods.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered as many as one million residents of the state's entire eastern coastline to leave their homes starting at noon on Tuesday.
Some 7 million people, primarily in Florida, were asked to flee from Hurricane Irma last September, the largest mass evacuation in USA history, easily surpassing the 2.5 million who were ordered to evacuate during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.
"This storm gets stronger and stronger" on its way to a head-on impact with a zone that ranges some 80 miles, Myers said.
For many people, the challenge could be finding a safe refuge.
At 11 p.m. EDT, the storm's center was located about 465 miles (750 kilometers) south-southeast of Bermuda and about 1,085 miles (1745 kilometers) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina. The possibility exists that the storm could be a Category 5, and that it will make North Carolina landfall as only its second Category 4 storm.
In this September 12, 2018 photo provided by NASA, hurricane Florence churns over the Atlantic Ocean heading for the US east coast as seen from the International Space Station.
President Donald Trump is canceling a campaign rally in advance of Hurricane Florence's landfall.
Jim Craig, David Burke and Chris Rayner load generators as people buy supplies at The Home Depot on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, in Wilmington, N.C.
"It's scary to all of us".
"From eight o'clock 'til two we were slammed", said Johnson, who sold scores of bags of sand over the weekend, saving just a few to barricade the store's own doors. He said that the hurricane could only be captured on a super-wide lens, even from 400 kilometres up.
The US military is taking precautions as well. It said about 750 military personnel will be designated to provide support.
Other military personnel, however, could find themselves directly in harm's way.
Name SearchWatch Service' Ken Graham warned that Florence was forecast to slow down significantly and linger over the Carolinas once it reaches shore, dropping heavy rainfall as far as West Virginia.
The large and powerful hurricane prompted evacuation orders in North and SC and Virginia - all of which have already declared states of emergency.
Virginia's emergency operations chief, Jeffrey Stern, told reporters that residents should brace for "something that no one in Virginia has experienced in their lifetimes".
Governors in the Carolinas and Virginia already had declared emergencies, and some sought federal aid as well.
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