The hurricane is expected to weaken into a tropical depression as it continues westward into SC and Georgia.
'I can't emphasise enough the potential for unbelievable damage from wind, storm surge and inland flooding with this storm'.
"If I need to evacuate I can go to my son's house" in North Carolina, Sparks said as he carted a load of water bottles to his vehicle.
The US president said he had spoken to governors of threatened states, adding that the "federal government stands by, ready to assist 24/7".More news: Apple unveils new iPhones, smart watch - Hardware
With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand. Thousands of Marines and their families evacuated from Camp Lejeune, leaving the rest to dig in ahead of what could be a direct hit.
In a trailer park outside Wilmington, Alondra Espinoza was preparing to leave with her two young children.
Social media posts using hashtag #hurrication show folks doing an assortment of activities as winds got up to 140mph and barreled their way closer to the coast. When he packed up the 20-pound brown paper bag he left town with, he says, he remembered to bring his nebulizer, toiletries, and a change of clothes, but left behind his blood pressure medication.
"I've been through hurricanes before but never with kids", she said.More news: NASA Satellites Show Hurricane Florence Strengthening
Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, he said: "Disaster is at the doorstep and it's coming in". "If you are on the coast, there is still time to get out safely".
The National Weather Service initially predicted that South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia would be the states directly in the storm's path.
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. The game, like many others this weekend, was canceled due to the impending impact of Hurricane Florence.
A nurse helps a resident Wednesday at the Trinity Grove nursing facility in Wilmington, N.C., where residents and employees planned to hunker down for Hurricane Florence.More news: Aaron Rodgers Leads Packers to Comeback Win After Dramatic Return from Injury