Georgia's Governor Nathan Deal has issued an emergency declaration for all of the state's 159 counties.
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. A year ago, people would have laughed off such a forecast, but the European model was accurate in predicting 60 inches (150 centimeters) for Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area, so "you start to wonder what these models know that we don't", University of Miami hurricane expert Brian McNoldy said.
Trump tweeted about the danger to Georgia Wednesday, saying, "Hurricane Florence may now be dipping a bit south and hitting a portion of the Great State of Georgia". The order eases regulations on trucks hauling gasoline and relief supplies into Georgia.
Their entire neighborhood evacuated in Wilmington, North Carolina, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter's one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte.
With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand.
More than 1 million people are under mandatory evacuations in the Carolinas and Virginia, and about 30 million across the Southeast will be affected if the forecast holds, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.
As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center showed Florence as a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour moving west-northwest at 16 miles per hour.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency warned that storm surge watches and warnings are in effect for the entire North Carolina coast and parts of SC.
"A motion toward the northwest is forecast to begin by this afternoon and continue through Thursday", the hurricane center says. It is the most risky of three tropical systems in the Atlantic.
"If you don't have a plan in place, you still have time to do something", Jones said.
While Florence is expected to weaken by Thursday, it is still forecasted to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane when it nears the USA coast on Friday. "Don't panic, people just need to prepare, just in case". It looks like it will be North Carolina.
Gov. Henry McMaster has ordered evacuations in counties along the state's coast, including Charleston. "We are totally prepared".
"Honestly, it tears me up thinking that what if in the end of this, this is all we have left", Jones said.