In North Carolina alone, there were 777,937 power outages as of 1:20 p.m. ET, according to North Carolina's Department of Public Safety. An investigation is underway, but officials said it appears there's no reason for others at the shelter to worry.
And yet another tropical storm formed in the Atlantic Thursday night.
The National Hurricane Center said the storm would dump as much as 30 to 40 inches (76-102 cm) of rain on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and part of northeastern SC, as well as up to 10 inches (25 cm) in southwestern Virginia.
In was 1989 when Hurricane Hugo pummeled the Carolinas, causing tremendous destruction - killing 21 people in the USA and 29 in the Caribbean and leaving behind an estimated US$8 billion in damage. The hurricane officially hit the East Coast around 7:40 a.m. ET as a Category 1 storm.
After reaching a terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 mph (225 kph) earlier in the week, Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles (kilometers) east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line.
Over 770,000 were without power in North Carolina Friday night. As they had throughout the week, he and officials went through a litany of updates: at the time, 12,000 citizens filled the 126 shelters that had opened across the state and 30,000 residents had already lost power.
Near the Sutton Power Plant in Wilmington, coal ash leaked from a Duke Energy landfill.
After appearing headed toward the North Carolina-Virginia border at one point, Florence shifted south and is now taking aim at the Carolinas.
Does it matter that Florence is moving slowly?
SC authorities said law enforcement officers were guarding against looting in evacuated areas, while Wilmington set a curfew on Saturday evening in response to looting in one area.
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A surge is likely along portions of the SC coast.
"This storm will bring destruction", said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.
"There is going to be a lot of rain". "The larger and the slower the storm is, the greater the threat and the impact - and we have that". "Our meteorologists are saying that the rainfall amounts will be devastating in certain areas", he said Thursday.
Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial waste sites and hog-manure ponds. The rainfall will produce life-threatening flash flooding.
About 800 flights in the region have been canceled ahead of the storm, CNN reported.
About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, jamming westbound roads and highways for miles.
Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Muriel Bowser, the Mayor of the nation's capital, has declared a state of emergency. Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles (150 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles (315 kilometers).
With gusts upward of 110 miles per hour already battering the Carolina coastline, storm surges have already started to destroy homes and overflow onto roads.
Storm surge isn't the only worry associated with the storm, either. That storm brought 24.06 inches of rain.
Rain was falling on the coast Thursday morning from the clouds on the farthest edges of the hurricane. It's moving north, and is expected to turn away from the U.S.