Forecasters say that the situation will worsen when the storm will move in land.
"The fact is this storm is deadly and we know we are days away from an ending", Cooper said.
The hurricane has torn buildings apart and knocked out power to more than 600,000 homes and businesses.
Though Florence won't be making landfall until Friday, tropical-storm-force winds - 39 to 73 miles per hour (63 to 117 km/h) - will begin whipping through coastal regions as early as tomorrow, making it exceptionally unsafe to be outside, Graham said.
The National Weather Service is predicting that the hurricane will blow ashore as early as Friday afternoon along the North Carolina-South Carolina line, then push its rainy way westward, with a potential for catastrophic inland flooding.
Florence kills 5, including infant, in North Carolina, officials say
Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it was unclear how many did. The Wilmington airport had a wind gust clocked at 105 miles per hour (169 kph), the highest since Hurricane Helene in 1958.
A tree crashed into Kevin DiLoreto's home in Wilmington, where all roads leading to his neighbourhood were blocked by fallen trees.
Storm surge flooding does not include floods caused by the heavy rain from the hurricane, such as what happened past year in Houston with Hurricane Harvey and in North Carolina in 2016 during Hurricane Matthew. Several places already had more than 16 inches (40 centimeters) of rain, and Oriental, North Carolina got more than 20 inches in just a few hours.
The NWS predicted Florence could drop up to eight months' worth of rain in two or three days.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles.
About 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians have been deployed, with high-water vehicles, helicopters, and boats.
Typhoon Mangkhut path MAPPED: Where will Super Typhoon make landfall?
Forecasters said Typhoon Mangkhut, considered as the strongest this year, could hit northern Cagayan province on Saturday. Northern parts of Luzon and eventually Hong Kong and Guangdong Province will see major impacts over the coming days.
Authorities warned, too, of the threat of mudslides and the risk of environmental havoc from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms. He says that "over the years the state government and the federal government have become very coordinated in their ability to manage the pre-deployment of assets (and) the response to the citizens of those states, and we will soon be into the recovery". The remainder of SC and North Carolina into southwest Virginia.5 to 10 inches, isolated 15 inches. It could linger along the Atlantic Coast, dumping massive amounts of rain before drifting inland and bringing its heavy rainfall across the South and into the Mid-Atlantic states by early next week. All seven of North Carolina's ferry routes were shut down.
Scott's office said Florida has sent two urban search-and-rescue teams to North Carolina and SC; a nursing team of 29 people to North Carolina to help with special-needs shelters; and five ambulance teams to North Carolina to help with medical evacuations.
In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River left 500 people in peril. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU".
Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesA volunteer worker rescues a child and her family during Hurricane Florence.
"It's going to be bad", said Woody White, chairman of the New Hanover County Commissioners.
Alli out of England squad to face Switzerland
I do remember a similar situation myself, accumulation from Euro 96 through Le Tournoi in 97 to World Cup 98 in France. The first-half in particular was awful , with the Three Lions unable to even pass the ball.
"These are folks who made a decision to stay and ride out the storm for whatever reason, despite having a mandatory evacuation", city public information officer Colleen Roberts said.
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