Whenever a tropical cyclone makes landfall, it comes with powerful storm surge, hurricane and tropical-storm force winds, isolated tornadoes and very heavy rainfall.
SC ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents while North Carolina ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination.
The assistance also includes Florida utilities sending crews to help restore power after the hurricane and the state suspending requirements for transportation of animals to help in the movement of livestock from areas affected by the hurricane.
Hurricane Florence deserves all the names it's being called as it threatens to cause historic flooding, blow catastrophic winds and idle for days over the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic.
Almost one year after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, killing more than 1,400 Americans and leaving the island largely powerless for months, President Donald Trump issued a message on Hurricane Florence: "We're ready".
Its maximum sustained winds were clocked on Thursday at 110 miles per hour (175 kph) after it was downgraded to a Category 2 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale. "Little rough but we're all out", a tweet said. Numerous evacuees had pets with them.
The Miami-based center says the center of the eye moved ashore with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour, making Florence a Category 1 hurricane in terms of wind intensity. "There will be disruptions in our services", he said.
Storm surge, the massive mound of water that builds up and comes ashore during a hurricane, is often the deadliest and most destructive threat from the storms.
"These are folks who chose to stay and ride out the storm for whatever reason, despite having a mandatory evacuation", she said.
Video taken in several towns in the Carolinas showed emergency personnel wading through thigh-high water.
Watch Hurricane Florence Make Landfall in This Incredible Space Station Video
Florence had been a Category 3 hurricane with 120-mph winds on Thursday, but dropped to Category 1 before coming ashore. Below is a livestream that will alternate between views in North Carolina and SC .
Speaking at the White House, Trump said "protection of life is the absolute highest priority".
Governor Cooper said the state would arrange a visit by Trump "at an appropriate time".
A fallen tree crashed through the home where a woman and her baby were killed in Wilmington, N.C., after Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday.
"It's insane", he said in a phone interview.
"I see the beach communities being inundated with water and destruction that will be pretty, pretty epic in nature". Although it weakened slightly Wednesday afternoon, forecasters do not expect Florence's strength to change much before it comes ashore near the North Carolina-South Carolina border.
More than 415,000 homes and businesses were without power on Friday morning, according to poweroutage.us which tracks the nation's electrical grid.
"Today is the time to get your preparedness actions complete", he said. Significant weakening is expected over the weekend and into early next week while Florence moves farther inland.
Florence was one of two major storms threatening millions of people on opposite sides of the world.
And if Florence weren't enough, other storms out there are threatening people.