Update: 9/12/18 at 12:12 AM Eastern. Florence has shifted south a little bit. The storm is expected to hit the Carolina Coast at Wilmington and Myrtle Beach. It is expected to linger and head into the Carolinas, Georgia, and Eastern Tennessee. Most of Virginia looks like it will be spared compared to the last model, but will still be affected.
As it looks right now the inland of NC and VA are in the path of a potentially historic and dangerous storm. There are possibilities that NC's Metro areas of Greensboro, Raleigh, Fayetteville, Wilmington, and Jacksonville. As well as VA Metros of Hampton Roads, Richmond, Roanoke, Danville, and Lynchburg are all right in direct target zones.
The storm is rapidly strengthening and is now a category four hurricane. ALL models paint this getting bigger in the next 24 hours. It will approach the coast Thursday evening and slow down to a crawl. Nobody knows if it will be a category three, four, or five storm when it makes landfall. There are three possibilities with this storm.
1. It comes ashore near Myrtle Beach and goes inland very slowly. Utter destruction around where the eye comes ashore. Outer Banks spared and Hampton Roads spared. Inland SC and NC devastated with days of torrential rains.
2. It comes ashore near Wilmington or Jacksonville NC. Horrible destruction from high winds and 15-20 foot storm surge near the eye landfall location. Outer Banks hit with 5-8 foot storm surge and winds strong enough to knock down trees but not destroy or damage too many buildings. Hampton Roads would experience similar conditions to Isabel a decade ago with flooding and many power outages and lots of rainfall flooding but otherwise spared the worst. Inland NC and VA including the mountains would experience massive flooding that could kill dozens or hundreds depending on where the worst rainfall sets up. It could last for three or four days in these inland areas because the storm stalls out.
3. It hovers off the Cape Hatteras seashore of NC for 24-48 hours before slowly moving west. If the eye grazes the coast and sits for a prolonged period of time as a category four or five, it would completely destroy the southern part of the Outer Banks including Rodanthe and Hatteras. Anybody staying would most likely lose their lives. Nags Head and points north would have destruction that has not been seen in over 100 years. The big cities in Hampton Roads(Norfolk, VA Beach) would experience the worst hurricane in 150 years leading to many fatalities and weeks or months with no power. Once the storm moves inland, the catastrophic flooding would then occur in the mountainous areas.
Just a quick update: The cone is shifting farther west and is predicted to make landfall near Wilmington. The storm will then head for Raleigh then head due west towards the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Western part of NC.