North Carolina corrections officials said more than 3,000 people were relocated from adult prisons and juvenile centers in the path of Florence, and more than 300 county prisoners were transferred to state facilities.
Once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour, the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night.
CoreLogic noted at the time of its advisory that SC is not included in the table as it is not expected to exceed tropical storm force winds based on the projected track.
Coastal cities in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are under evacuation orders as the Category 2 hurricane approaches the United States.
Almost 1.7m people along the coastlines of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have been ordered to evacuate.
However, many are choosing to stay put, with some saying the emergency shelters do not accept pets and others with sick relatives saying hotels have pumped up their prices so much it is prohibitive.
Sea level rise also adds to storm surge damage: When Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, a study found sea-level rise over the 20th century caused more than $2 billion in additional damage in New York City due to the "extra" storm surge it generated. The eye of that hurricane merely grazed the coast.
"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", NHC said.
North Carolina will see up to eight months of rain in a two- to three-day period, National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear said in a video briefing.
The center said that a gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, recently reported 6.3 feet (1.92 meters) of inundation. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill. "Today the threat becomes a reality", according to The Associated Press.
Late on Thursday night he requested that Donald Trump declare the situation a disaster so federal aid could quickly be received to speed up the cleanup and recovery.
There are fears that this storm could cause damage similar to what Houston suffered during Hurricane Harvey past year, when homes and businesses were inundated with floodwater. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.
"We have quite literally surrounded the expected affected area with DOD capability that will be critical in hours and days following the storm's impact", said Air Force Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, who heads U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Another guy agreed, writing, "we've already roasted Florence from a possible 5 to a 2, and made it move track from straight thru NC to SC, why not keep doing it and maybe it'll just die down completely".
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Centre said the storm would weaken after making landfall but also linger, dumping heavy rains for days. Overall, the storm is 400 miles wide. Millions of people were expected to lose power from the storm and restoration could take weeks.
Many spent the night in shelters, sleeping in corridors with their pets, belongings and family members. So far, a state of emergency has been declared in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland and Washington DC.
"We live in a mobile home so we were just like 'No way, '" she said. "We are going to hunker down and stay safe and not stay in mobiles and we will be OK".
Authorities pushed back against any suggestion the storm's threat was exaggerated.