As data on the storm grows more and more ominous-it will likely be a Category 4 hurricane at least and at this point seems unlikely to blow out to sea-mandatory evacuation orders have already been issued, and Virginia, North Carolina, and SC have preemptively declared states of emergency, ahead of an anticipated landfall that won't occur until roughly Thursday night.
The center of the hurricane is forecast to move across the Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas tomorrow and Wednesday (Sept. 11-12), before approaching the southeastern coast of the US on Thursday.
Florence grew into a major hurricane on Monday morning and was upgraded again to a Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane strength at midday as its top sustained wind speeds reached 130 miles per hour.
"We are in the bull´s-eye", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said at a news conference. Georgia, West Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Delaware, New Jersey, southern Pennsylvania, and eastern Tennessee, Kentucky, and OH could also see strong winds.
On its current track, Florence is expected to slam the Carolinas and Virginia the hardest.
As the USGS continues to take all appropriate preparedness and response actions in response to Hurricane Florence, those in the storm's projected path can visit www.ready.gov or www.listo.gov for tips on creating emergency plans and putting together an emergency supply kit.
In its 5 p.m. Sept 10 update, the NHC said Florence is 1,170 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear in North Carolina, moving west-northwest at 13 mph.
In 1989, Hurricane Hugo grew to a Category 4 storm before coming ashore near Charleston, South Carolina, where it caused about $14.1 billion in damage when adjusted for inflation, making it the 13th costliest US storm, according to Hurricane Center records.
"With the possibility that Tropical Storm Florence could make landfall in SC, likely as a hurricane, our people have already started making preparations", Attorney General Alan Wilson said.
The NHC said: "All indications are that Florence will be an extremely unsafe Category 4 hurricane while it moves over the western Atlantic toward the southeastern United States".
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.
"This is a huge storm", said Robert Woodward, chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, predicting 15 to 20 inches (38 to 50 centimeters) of rain.
"I'll see by Wednesday how that goes - we got over 48 hours before that happens", Cesal said.
Florence is travelling across the Atlantic Ocean and is threatening to hit the East Coast later this week when it could be at Category 4 strength.
Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 miles per hour.
The other storms Tropical Storm Isaac and Tropical Storm Helene are both expected to become hurricanes Sunday or Monday.