"On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas through Wednesday, and approach the coast of North Carolina or SC in the hurricane watch area Thursday and Friday", the NHC said.
Although as of yesterday afternoon Hurricane Florence was a Category 3 hurricane, models and forecasts predict that it will intensify into a Category 4 hurricane. It's now about 1,010 miles southeast of Norfolk, Virginia, the National Weather Service said. That forecast could change, however, should the storm's track change.
Bluffton deputy town manager Scott Marshall said the town's emergency operation team is fully staffed and will remain so during the duration of the hurricane threat. Florence is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
As of Tuesday morning, Florence was hurling 130-mph winds. "It also has the highest potential to cause the most destruction".
Heavy rainfall - up to 15 inches - for much of northern Virginia and nearly all of the state's eastern half.
Flash flooding is expected Thursday into Saturday, while river flooding from heavy rainfall could persist for several days to weeks after the storm.
In its discussion, the NHC said that Florence is predicted to "slow down significantly" in the 72 hours before it approaches land. That could bring prolonged heavy rainfall.
He has also cancelled campaign events Thursday and Friday in anticipation of the storm.
Currituck officials reiterated this morning that the evacuation ordered in Corolla and Carova on Monday is for vacationers and guests only.
Baxley said it "should be a personal decision" whether residents who chose to evacuate early should choose to return. Beaufort County public schools will remained closed for the rest of the week.
Governor Henry McMaster has already ordered an evacuation starting today for a long stretch of the coast.
That amount of storm surge would put Florence on par with Hurricane Fran. The deceptively calm eye lies at the heart of the most powerful storm to date in the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.
A new National Hurricane Center map predicting the likelihood of tropical storm-force winds stretches from northern Florida to eastern Kentucky and OH, and even up to the New York City area - although there's only a 5% to 10% chance of those conditions stretching that far north. "It's still a very unsafe storm and it's still a risky storm to the state of SC in all aspects, including Beaufort County".
Rain could reach as much as 10 inches elsewhere in North Carolina, Virginia, parts of Maryland and Washington, D.C.
US President Donald Trump signed declarations of emergency for both North Carolina and SC, freeing up federal money and resources for storm response. The initial damage is likely due come from the high winds and storm surge-high tides carried by the winds--and then by the huge soaking it will likely leave in both North and SC, as well as Virginia, as it moves slowly inland.