Although Hurricane Florence has now been downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane, the storm continues to be life-threatening.
The National Hurricane Center said Wednesday the storm could cause cause dangerous storm surge up to 13 feet in addition to bringing torrential rainfall.
About 10 million people are in the path of the massive system. Early Thursday morning, its outer rain bands were nearing the North Carolina coast and officials said it’s likely to keep the same Category 2 intensity when it makes landfall.
Twenty to 40 inches of rain are expected at isolated spots along the Carolina coast.
Power could also be knocked out for millions across the Carolinas, according to Duke Energy, the major power supplier for the states.
As of 11 p.m. EDT, the Hurricane was about 280 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, reports said.
The Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland all declared states of emergency earlier this week. Along the coastal areas, 1 million people have been asked to evacuate.
“Don’t risk your life riding out a monster,” said Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina
President Trump also urged those expected to be affected to remain safe.
“We are completely ready for Hurricane Florence, as the storm gets even larger and more powerful. Be careful!” Trump tweeted Thursday morning.