Another resident staying put despite evacuation orders to over 1 million people throughout the Carolinas and Virginia is Jon Wright, a retired firefighter. "During harvest, time is of the essence", Governor Roy Cooper said in announcing a state of emergency. Sharp added that some areas could see flooding where he hasn't flooded before.
Most models showed the storm hovering over the central Carolinas through the weekend, with the eye moving into central SC by 8 a.m. Sunday.
"This is not going to be a glancing blow", said Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
It said the hurricane was about 520 miles (820km) southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Wednesday.
In addition to stronger winds, rain chances will also increase through the second half of the weekend.
The hurricane center's projected track previously had Florence charging into the North Carolina coast on Friday. "I'll tell you, agriculture is in the heart of that bull's eye".
But his partner, Emily Whisler, said she will remain behind at the university where she is a resident in the psychiatry program.
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The younger brother of US Open and PGA Championship victor Brooks Koepka also had a double bogey on the par-3 16th. He was at 9 under when Woods finished, only to make consecutive bogeys and finish with a two-putt birdie for a 62.
Charleston, resident William Belli said he would not be among those joining the exodus.
"This will be a storm that creates and causes massive damage to our country". "Not anxious in the least".
Another commenter said: 'That hurricane better be taking me to dinner first'.
Emergency preparations in the area included activating 2,800 National Guard troops in North Carolina, stockpiling food, setting up shelters, switching traffic patterns so that major roads led away from shore and securing 16 nuclear power reactors in the three-state region. Some 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate.
Parts of the southeastern coast that are not under hurricane warnings are under tropical storm or storm surge warnings, meaning life-threatening floods are possible. Florence is now a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
As of Tuesday, about 1.7 million people in North and SC and Virginia were under warnings to evacuate the coast, and hurricane watches and warnings extended across an area with about 5.4 million residents. He said the federal government is "absolutely, totally prepared" for Florence.
Lester "Buddy" Stroud, a farm hand at Shelley Farms, walks through a field of tobacco ready to be harvested in the Pleasant View community of Horry County, South Carolina, U.S., July 26, 2013.
Even with some weakening that's predicted just before it makes landfall, the storm "is expected to remain a unsafe major hurricane as it approaches the coastline", the hurricane center said.