Fierce winds and massive waves are expected to lash the coasts of North and SC and Virginia even before Florence makes landfall on Friday, and its rains will take a heavy toll for kilometres inland, the National Hurricane Center in Miami warned on Tuesday.
Rain measured in feet is "looking likely", he said.
Bloomberg reported September 11 that due to Hurricane Florence's threat to the hog-heavy Carolina region October hog futures jumped as much as 2.9 percent on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Monday.
One such adjustment, the governor announced, was the cancellation of mandatory evacuations for three coastal counties from Monday's executive order.
Both the Hurricane and Storm Surge Watches cover the area from Edisto Beach, South Carolina, north to the North Carolina-Virginia border, according to a statement issued Tuesday. "Don't bet your life on riding out a monster".
For many people, the challenge could be finding a safe refuge: If Florence slows to a crawl, it could bring torrential rains all the way into the Appalachian mountains and as far away as West Virginia, causing flash floods, mudslides and other unsafe conditions in places that have already experienced lots of rain recently.
"This increasingly severe, potentially unprecedented storm is hurdling to the epicenter of animal agriculture in North Carolina", said Will Hendrick, a staff attorney and manager for a water campaign in the state for the Waterkeeper Alliance.
On Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center tweeted out predictions for maximum wind gusts that showed Jacksonville, Emerald Isle and North Topsail Beach could see gusts from 125 to 144 miles per hour as the storm moves ashore.
The National Hurricane Center issued its first set of Hurricane and Storm Surge Watches Tuesday for the East Coast as Hurricane Florence continues its trek toward North Carolina.
NHC forecasts showed the effects of Florence would be widely felt, with tropical storm-force winds extending almost 300 miles across three states.
Predicted rainfall totals for Hurricane Florence.
"Some strengthening is expected during the next day or so, and Florence is expected to be an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday night".
Utilities deployed crews and gear in advance, with workers en route to the region from at least 15 states, according to trade group, the Edison Electric Institute.
Because of the storm's potential damaging impacts, Pasquotank and Camden counties have joined the ranks of local governments in declaring a state of emergency. One power station, Duke Energy Corp's Brunswick plant, the closest to the area where landfall is forecast, faced a likely shutdown as a precaution. Florence was a Category 4 storm late afternoon Monday. A hospital in Hampton, Virginia, was transferring patients to safer places.
Florence is getting more organized and bigger as it barrels for North Carolina, with coastal residents fleeing what may be the most powerful hurricane to hit the state in 64 years.
"We are sparing no expense". Sound unlikely? It's the same model that accurately predicted that last year's Hurricane Harvey, which also stalled over land, would drop 60 inches. Some 3,000 people died in the aftermath of that storm.
The auto park has been full for three days at the Ace Hardware store in coastal Calabash, North Carolina, where manager Tom Roberts said he sold 150 gas cans in two hours Monday, along with generators, plywood, rope, manual can openers, sand bags and a plethora of other items. North Carolina is the top USA turkey producer, ranks third for chicken and is home to more hogs than any state other than Iowa, government data show.
Residents prepared by boarding up their homes and stocking up on food, water and other essentials, stripping grocery store shelves of merchandise.