Florence catapulted from a Category 2 to a Category 4 hurricane over the span of several hours.
Category 4 hurricanes are unusual this far north. Hurricanes need warm water to thrive - and the sea surface temperature of ocean water cools as you get further away from the tropics.
Shelves at a store in Raleigh, North Carolina, emptied of supplies as people stock up ahead of Hurricane Florence.
Astonishing winds aren't the biggest danger. Massive waves from the hurricane will make the rush of water even more risky and damaging, the National Hurricane Center warned.
"This is no ordinary storm, and people could be without power for a very long time - not days but weeks", Fountain said on a call with reporters, according to Bloomberg. "It also has the highest potential to cause the most destruction".
Some 38cm (15in) to 64cm (25in) of rain is forecast in some areas - with up to one metre (40in) at the centre of the storm.
"Hurricane Florence is rapidly approaching the coastline and we wanted to preemptively offer disaster relief for those who stand to be impacted by the storm", Mack said in a statement to HuffPost. The model appears to show the hurricane stalling, dumping rain as it sits on the state's edge.
"With this storm, what's unique is it's forecast to stall. dropping copious amounts of rainfall across the Carolinas and into Virginia", Long said. "You're going to be displaced from your home in coastal areas. It's a statewide threat for the states involved". The D.C. region can expect a few inches of rain and coastal areas may experience minor flooding issues.
By Saturday, total rainfall could accumulate to 20 inches (51 centimeters) - or even 30 inches in places - in parts of the Carolinas and Virginia, the NHC said. So the land can't absorb much more water.More news: NAFTA talks make progress; U.S., Canadian officials to work into night
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David Fountain, president of Duke Energy North Carolina, emphasized the potential implications of hurricane, which is now a category 4.
The Carolinas will likely bear the brunt of Florence's wrath.
As it nears the coast, the storm's forward motion will slow to a crawl, but the winds and rain will continue full-strength.
People weren't the only ones evacuating to get out of the path of Hurricane Florence.
Scientists have filmed an astonishing video of the interior of Hurricane Florence, as the storm bears down on North and SC.
Planes "are generally not destroyed by strong winds while in flight", NOAA noted, which is how these aircraft can make it through.
"We're a resilient bunch down here".
"It's going to be bad", said Woody White, chairman of the New Hanover County Commissioners. "But this is pretty serious".
Even though Amazon routinely demonstrates its ability to solve unique challenges, Stix admitted there was one obstacle to dealing with hurricanes and more.