Reports also suggest that hurricane Florence will cause power cuts and it may take weeks for authorities to restore everything back to normal.
The storm's centre was about 145 miles (235 km) east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as of Thursday night. The storm was about 170 miles (275 km) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.
With their entire neighborhood evacuated in Wilmington, North Carolina, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter's one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte. But the restaurant had locked its doors only to comply with a police order. She said a hurricane has a way of bringing everyone to the same level.
An estimated 20-30 inches of rainfall is projected for coastal North Carolina and northeastern SC - with up to forty inches in isolated areas.
She had been driving since 12:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon from her home on the coast of North Carolina.
Rain bands with tropical-storm-force winds have moved onshore over the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
"This storm will bring destruction", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said. "To put this in context, we correctly predicted the full extent of Hurricane Harvey's economic damage to be $190 billion past year", AccuWeather founder and president Dr. Joel N. Myers said.
As of 2 p.m. Thursday, Florence packs sustained winds of 105 miles per hour. "A turn to the west-northwest and west at an even slower forward speed is expected tonight and Friday, and a slow west-southwestward motion is forecast Friday night and Saturday".More news: NHC downgrades Florence to still risky Category 3 hurricane
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Five percent of gas stations in North Carolina were out of gas (one in 10 gas stations in Wilmington and Raleigh-Durham), while 2.1 percent in SC and 1 percent in Virginia were out.
Carolina Beach lies on a narrow strip of land in the southern part of North Carolina.
Florence is one of four named storms in the Atlantic. The commanding general says anyone remaining on base will have food, water and protection despite being in the projected path of the storm.
All four major U.S. airlines have said they are capping selected airfares below what last-minute tickets would cost.
"The worst of the storm is not yet here but these are early warnings of the days to come", he said. "Gracious heavenly father God, just with those in the flood zone, may the damage not be so much", they prayed. The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves. Among the tips: Prepare a safety kit and avoid driving through floodwater.
Myrtle Beach International Airport in SC has also suspended commercial operations, and urges passengers to check with their airlines - not the airport - about upcoming itineraries.
"We'll operate without power; we have candles". "Tons of food, ice". "If we lose the house, oh well, we can get housing".
His friend Daniel Gomez is also planning to stick around. "I want to get them as far away as possible".
"We are in constant contact with moms who are close to delivery dates, before the storm, and we advise them to maybe leave the county, because there is a time. that they won't be able to travel during the storm", he tells McCammon.
Airlines had also canceled almost 1,000 flights and counting.