Duke Energy, a power company in the Carolinas, estimated that one million to three million customers could lose electricity because of the storm and that it could take weeks to restore. But his partner, Emily Whisler, said she will remain behind at the university where she is a resident in the psychiatry program.
Nighttime winds have gone from 140mph (225kph) to 115mph (185kph), and further weakening is expected as Florence approaches the coast.
Forecast models show Florence could bring a storm surge of nine to 13 feet and could bring up to 20 inches of rain along the coast.
Trump said the federal government was "absolutely, totally prepared" for Florence.
"There's really not a lot of good news", NOAA flight director Paul Flaherty said on "Shepard Smith Reporting".
Myrtle Beach police will have all hands on deck for Hurricane Florence.
Hurricane Florence could wreak havoc on college football's Week 3
One, Hurricane Florence , is already cause 85-mph winds expected to become an "extremely dangerous" major hurricane . SCEMD has also put their preparedness level at OPCON 2, the second-highest level for the state of emergencies in SC .
"I've been through hurricanes before but never with kids", she said.
Winds of 40 miles per hour or greater will advance onshore in eastern North Carolina during the day on Thursday.
Florence became a unsafe Category 3 hurricane Wednesday afternoon before it downgraded to a Category 2 Wednesday night with winds at 110mph.
Slower movement means a hurricane has more time to inundate a region with rain and storm surge. This shift to the south certainly brings Charlotte into play for much heavier rainfall, and I think that's going to be the biggest issue that we're going to have to deal with in the Charlotte area is soaking heavy rains that could fall not only over a day but maybe several days after landfall.
"We will experience power outages, infrastructure damages, there will be homes damaged".
In addition, the Georgia Hospital Association has created a webpage, www.gha.org/HurricaneCentral, that Georgia Emergency Management will keep updated with evacuee information to include Georgia Parks space that is available at no cost to evacuees. Its maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly to 110 miles per hour.
Downpours and flooding would be especially severe, lasting for days, if the storm stalls over land. In Virginia, officials have evacuated one state prison, though local jails in the affected area are planning to keep inmates in place after stockpiling food and fuel, the Virginian-Pilot reports.
"Even though it's down in South and North Carolina, it is a big storm and the track is ever-changing".
"This is a very risky hurricane", Mr McMaster said, adding that the evacuation order for coastal counties was "mandatory, not voluntary".