Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long said storm surge warnings have not changed despite the weakening intensity of the winds. In addition to the hurricane's obvious risks, the National Weather Service says, "A few tornadoes are possible in eastern North Carolina through Friday".
"If you find yourself here please get out", says Navarro. "We're able", he said.
At 11:00 am (1600 GMT), the eye of the storm was about 485 miles (785 kms) southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving in a northwest direction at 15 mph (24 kph).
The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".
While Barjat has been downgraded to a tropical depression with winds ranging between 32-33 miles per hour, Olivia, once a major hurricane, has discharged its strength on the waters and its winds reach a maximum of 35mph.
The National Hurricane Centre's best guess was that Florence would blow ashore as early as Friday afternoon around the North Carolina-South Carolina line, then push its rainy way westward with a potential for catastrophic inland flooding. Those winds can heard howling at the Frying Pan, a decommissioned lighthouse 55km off the North Carolina coast.
He urged people in the coastal Carolinas and living near inland rivers to evacuate.
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Hurricane Florence's outer edges have started to batter the coast of North Carolina - with winds of 100mph bending trees and shooting frothy seawater onto the streets.
Steady streams of vehicles full of people and belongings flowed inland on Tuesday as North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper tried to convince everyone on North Carolina's coast to flee.
Many people in coastal communities have followed the mandatory evacuation orders, but some are vowing to stay put and ride it out.
Georgia joined North and South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland in issuing an emergency declaration as forecasts showed Florence dumping historic amounts of rain - potentially 10 trillion gallons - on the southern states. The power companies expect millions of people to be without power for days.
Mr Cooper's office said the current emergency declaration was helping state officials prepare for the storm.
"The infrastructure is going to break", he said.
Up to 40 inches of rain could fall in North Carolina.
That was a bad idea, said Avair Vereen, a local nurse who had sought safety in the shelter with her seven children. "I'm not leaving him here". "We're ready and God will watch over us".
"I have no generator", said Petra Langston, a nurse. "I learned from the past to keep the ice in the washing machine".
Avair Vereen, 39, took her seven children to a shelter in Conway High School.
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Many people in coastal communities have followed the mandatory evacuation orders, but some are vowing to stay put and ride it out. National Guard soldiers from the state, North Carolina and Virginia are mobilizing to prepare for hurricane recovery efforts.
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