While the wind in the eye weakened, the storm grew in size and the hurricane-force winds expanding outward up to 70 miles (110 kilometers) from the center of the hurricane.
Hurricane Florence has been forecast to smash into North Carolina between Thursday and Friday but forecaster Janice Dean said there is uncertainty about the exact path the storm will take. He said they have been preparing with their natural gas unit.
Enough rain could fall to break North Carolina's record for a tropical storm - 24 inches - set near Wilmington during Hurricane Floyd in 1999, said Greg Carbin, chief of forecast operations at the Weather Service's national prediction center.
Hurricane Florence is on track to blast the southeastern US coast with ferocious winds and rain, but it may also swamp hog manure pits and coal ash dumps, spreading their toxins; as well as inundate nuclear reactors in the region, according to news reports. "Don't plan to leave once the winds and rains start".
"Between the lines: Hurricane Florence could become the strongest hurricane on record to strike so far north if it makes landfall north of the border between SC and North Carolina as a Category 4 or 5 storm".
However, Hurricane Florence is still a huge threat to 10 million people in and around the Carolina coast as people continue to evacuate the area. Now hurricane "Florence" waiting in Washington, where he also declared a state of emergency. A slow motion over eastern SC is forecast Friday night through Saturday night.
For many of those under evacuation orders, getting out of harm's way has proved difficult, as airlines canceled flights and motorists had a hard time finding gas.
Should other states request storm-related assistance from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, GEMA would in turn ask its Athens counterpart if the county could lend a hand by sending supplies or personnel to storm-ravaged areas.
Some 7,000 guard members are ready to mobilize in North Carolina, while 1,100 will be activated in SC.
A tropical storm watch is in effect for north of the North Carolina/Virginia border to Cape Charles Light, VA, and for Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort. He adds, "Businesses in Myrtle Beach are to have operations ceased and secured by 5 this afternoon". Life-threatening storm surge and rainfall is expected across portions of North and SC.
"It's easy to think about the roof blowing off, the windows being shattered, but there's more subtle parts of business interruption", Love said.
Florence is the most unsafe of three tropical systems in the Atlantic.
Even with some weakening that is predicted just before it makes landfall, the storm "is expected to remain a unsafe major hurricane as it approaches the coastline", the hurricane center said.
"The eye of Florence remains very distinct in infrared satellite imagery this morning".
The percentage of customers who may be affected by power outages following Hurricane Florence. It is poised to slow to a crawl there and then drift to the southwest, unloading disastrous amounts of rain. North Carolina alone could get from 20 to 30 inches, with isolated spots possibly receiving 40 inches.
The National Hurricane Center projects rainfall anywhere from 5 to 20 inches across SC.
A man helps board up Aussie Island surf shop in anticipation of Hurricane Florence's high storm surge. It had been projected to shift north after making landfall.
"This will be a storm that's going to be far larger than we have seen in perhaps decades", Trump said.
The impact of storm surge on the coast will depend on whether the storm's arrival coincides with high tide. "It goes well inland".
President Trump chimed in Wednesday, warning residents of afflicted areas to "be ready, be prepared!"
And if Florence weren't enough, other storms out there are threatening people. You never know. But we know.