Vehicles were directed onto US 501 in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Tuesday.
"Hurricane Florence was uninvited but she's just about here anyway", he said at a news conference.
We are holding out hope for all of those who are in the path of the storm, but for any of you who aren't convinced that Florence has the potential to be deadly, then look no further than this live streaming video from the Bogue Inlet Pier in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, where the sky has darkened and the waves are crashing violently.
As Hurricane Florence bears down on the North and SC coasts, some residents are ignoring officials' calls to evacuate.
Up to 1.7 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have been given voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders, according to emergency management officials, as the storm churned across the Atlantic Ocean towards the coast.
Time Magazine is streaming from a camera set up in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Baker said the rain will bring damaging flash flooding to all areas of the Wilmington region, not just low-lying areas that are particularly vulnerable. The storm's 12-mph forward speed Thursday morning was a marked drop from Wednesday's 17-mph speeds.
"This is a big storm, physically, very large".
It's unclear exactly how many people fled, but more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out.
The Knightdale High shelter is also open to Carteret County residents, according to television station WITN. "I never got the sense that I needed to leave".
By late Thursday afternoon, the Carolina coasts can expect winds topping 80 miles per hour.
For some residents, evacuation plans were hampered by gasoline shortages.
"This morning I drove around for an hour looking for gas in Cary". Some morons will undoubtedly ignore the warnings putting rescuers at risk to get them out.More news: WNBA Finals: Seattle Storm sweeps Washington Mystics to claim championship, Twitter reacts
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The hurricane is exposing other chinks in the supply chain, as many retailers big and small are running low on storm-prep essentials, from batteries, generators and plywood to bread and bottled water.
"Power outages will linger the longest and cause the most trouble", Abrams says.
"Hurricane Sandy did a tremendous amount of damage", Kourounis said.
"The biggest thing is you're always anxious about yourself and friends and family - and whether they'll have a place to come back to", he said.
It wasn't long before Twitter came across Florence's impressive size as well.
"We expected it to strengthen and then as it approached the coast to weaken somewhat", Abrams says.
Some airports are already closed, others may cease operations Thursday, and American and other airlines are moving their planes to higher and drier ground.
In yet another reminder to those in the path of the storm, it's worth noting that Trump also said the response to last year's hurricane in Puerto Rico - which officially killed almost 3,000 people - had been "incredibly successful".
"I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in the path of Hurricane Florence", Deal said.
Still, there are several other North and SC airports in the storm's path.
At least 800 flights have been cancelled or grounded due to the storm's expected landfall, CNN reported.
That said, the storm is still expected to stall once it hits the Wilmington coast, with weather officials early Thursday raising the expected total rainfall for Wilmington to 35 inches - weather officials had predicted 30 inches for Wilmington in briefings released Wednesday.
Susan Faulkenberry Panousis has stayed in her Bald Head Island, North Carolina home during prior hurricanes, but not this time.