Its maximum sustained winds slackened slightly to 125 mph, qualifying it as a Category 3 storm, but its wind field has grown, with hurricane-force winds extending out 70 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds stretching as far as 175 miles from the storm's center.
Duke Energy officials say Florence will knock out power to an estimated 1 million to 3 million customers in North and SC. "Everybody is trying to get out of the coast", she said.
Florence is headed straight for some of the most well-known military bases in the country. While the error cone has taken a much different, larger shape it should be noted that the forecast track up until landfall has remained fairly consistent.
"Been through it!" Belli said, referring to Hurricane Hugo, which caused widespread damage in SC in 1989.
"There's really not a lot of good news", NOAA flight director Paul Flaherty said on "Shepard Smith Reporting".
All eyes are on Hurricane Florence as it barrels towards the Carolinas. "If they're telling you to leave, you have to leave", Graham said. The Category 4 storm is likely to produce "catastrophic" flooding in the eastern Carolinas, as well as destructive winds.
A National Weather Service satellite monitoring Hurricane Florence has recorded a wave reaching 83 feet in the storm churning in the Atlantic Ocean.
The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".
US President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.
"We will experience power outages, infrastructure damages, there will be homes damaged". Its wind speeds have dropped from a high of 140 miles per hour (225 kph) to 110 miles per hour (175 kph), reducing it from a Category 4 storm to a Category 2, and additional fluctuations and weakening were likely as it swirled toward land.
That's because the weather systems that push and pull a storm disappear as Florence nears land around the border between North and SC.
The prison, home to nearly 1,000 prisoners and up to 119 staff, was ordered to stay put even during an initial mandatory evacuation for surrounding Jasper County.
"People do not live and survive to tell the tale about what their experience is like with storm surge", Long said.
Although Governor Henry McMaster lifted the evacuation order for three counties, including Jasper where the facility Ridgeland is located, these counties are still deemed evacuation zones by South Carolina Emergency Management Division. Unsure of what they might find when they return home, the couple went shopping for a recreational vehicle.