Hurricane Florence map uses an unfortunate graphic to display devastation

The eye of Hurricane Florence is seen on Tuesday morning

The eye of Hurricane Florence is seen on Tuesday morning

But despite the potentially devastating hurricane, forecast to make landfall on Friday with 130mph winds, people tried to offer some "relief" in the silence before the storm.

"Disaster is at the doorstep and is coming in", Cooper said.

A sign is seen on a boarded up vacation rentals office near Wrightsville beach, North Carolina on September 12, 2018.

"Watch out, America!" Gerst, who joined the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) in June, said Wednesday via a tweet featuring pictures he took of Hurricane Florence.

Florence, a category 4 hurricane, is now moving in a west-northwesterly direction at 17mph.

Forecasters in Wilmington, North Carolina, are emphasizing the potential for what they're calling "unbelievable damage from wind, storm surge, and inland flooding".

On Wednesday morning, the National Hurricane Service issued an alert that Hurricane Florence is "expected to bring [a] life-threatening storm surge and rainfall to portions of the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic states".

"This is a very fluid situation, especially now that new model runs are shifting the course of the storm south after landfall, potentially increasing its impact on SC and Georgia", St. Mary's Hospital spokesman Mark Ralston said.

If the hurricane continues in a southwesterly direction, the Georgia coastline and inland counties will experience the outer bands of the storm, meteorologists said.

Updated NHC forecasts showed the storm lingering near the coast of the Carolinas, carrying days of heavy rains that could bring intense inland flooding from SC to Virginia.

Hurricane Florence, a powerful Category 4 storm, could stall upon reaching the Carolina coast and make a slight shift south toward SC once it makes landfall, becoming "a major flooding event", according to Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean.

In addition, a high-pressure ridge that's parked over the East Coast is expected to prevent Florence from doing the typical swerve away from the Carolinas and also keep it stuck for multiple days once it reaches land.

The eye was about 530 miles southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, moving west-northwest at 17 miles per hour.

Gov. Henry McMaster has ordered evacuations in counties along the state's coast, including Charleston.

The ground in Athens already is saturated from the 27 inches of rain that fell since April, so flooding remains a possibility as a result of Hurricane Florence, according to King.

President Trump has declared an emergency in the three states and says the government is "as ready as anybody has ever been".