It's all eyes on Hurricane Florence over the next several days.
The storm, which fell from category four to category three on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, is expected to strengthen despite it weakening on Wednesday.
A hurricane warning - meaning hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours - is in effect for a long stretch of the coast, from the South Santee River in SC to Duck, N.C., which is part of the Outer Banks.
The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".
North Carolina Gov Roy Cooper said: "The waves and the wind this storm may bring is nothing like you've ever seen".
As of 11 a.m., the Category 4 storm had top sustained winds of 130 miles per hour and was on track to make landfall near Cape Fear, N.C., sometime Friday night or Saturday morning, and then move inland across the center of SC.
Florence will bring large rainfall totals through Saturday in North Carolina, north SC and Virginia, causing catastrophic flash flooding.
For a swath of the North Carolina shore from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, the storm surge could range from 9-13 feet, the NHC said.
Michelle Stober loaded up valuables at her home on Wrightsville Beach to drive back to her primary residence in Cary, North Carolina.
Despite newer forecasts showing the storm turning south, it has the potential to be devastating for the coast and inland areas.
Labor Day marked the end of the peak tourism season in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and other coastal getaways. The port in Charleston, South Carolina, though, was suspending operations from Thursday through Saturday and possibly on Sunday.
For anyone needing a place to stay to escape the hurricane, both North Carolina and SC are updating their lists of emergency shelters. We're still watching the forecast track fairly closely.
Florence is predicted to turn more toward the northwest through Thursday - but then is expected to head more west-northwest and stall a bit over the Carolinas.
And if that isn't enough, Subtropical Storm Joyce formed in the North Atlantic Tuesday afternoon, but it's not expected to hit the U.S. The system is expected to drift to the southwest in the coming days. "It goes well inland".
"This is not going to be a glancing blow", warned Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The president made his comments in a videotaped message from the White House Rose Garden that he tweeted out on Wednesday morning.