Florence's top winds were clocked on Thursday at 100 miles per hour (170 km per hour) as it churned in the Atlantic Ocean, down from a peak of 140 mph (224 kph) earlier this week when it was classified a Category 4 storm.
It's going to be rainy, windy weekend in Charlotte because of Hurricane Florence and, although, we are probably going to miss the worst of this storm, other parts of the state will be seriously impacted.
And don't be fooled by the fact that Florence has weakened slightly to a strong Category 2 hurricane.
Scientists said it is too soon to say what role, if any, global warming played in the storm. Much of the Carolinas coast has been under a daylong tornado watch.
"On a scale of one to 10, I'm probably a seven in terms of worry, she said".
Hurricane force winds are extending outwards from the centre of the storm by 80 miles.
"I'm not leaving my child", Foster said.
As Hurricane Florence continued to approach North Carolina Thursday the outlook for Savannah continued to improve.
Steve Goldstein with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said Florence's forward motion had slowed overnight, and it was not expected to make landfall in the Carolinas for "another 36 hours".
Still, a storm surge can overwhelm the animals, as it did in 2003 when Hurricane Isabel killed five horses and swept three others a few miles away.
Hurricane warnings are in effect for the South Santee River in SC to Duck, North Carolina, and Albemarle and Pamlico sounds.
Officials pleaded with residents across the Carolinas to treat the storm as a deadly threat.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned residents not to "underestimate" the storm.
In South Carolina, officials urged residents to prepare for wind, rain, extended power outages, downed trees and even potential mudslides as the storm hovers over the state and dumps millions of gallons of rainwater, as Hurricane Harvey did in the Houston area past year. In some counties, almost 1 in 3 people live below the poverty line. Power outages and downed trees are expected with any tropical system, he said.
Cheryl Browning lives with her husband and son, who has terminal cancer, in Richlands, North Carolina.
The hurricane was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as sluggish and unprepared for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico previous year. "Today the threat becomes a reality", according to The Associated Press. "There is overwash but nothing we are not used to", she said.
"We immediately gave up our hotel rooms so that more rooms are now available to those coming inland", Colgate coach Dan Hunt said.
Storm surge warnings were issued from South Santee River in SC to Duck, North Carolina.
Why is he open when the town is mostly evacuated?
The head of Duke Energy Corp.'s North Carolina operations says it could take weeks to restore electricity if the company's prediction that 1 million to 3 million of its 4 million customers lose power.