Boeing Co suspended work on Tuesday at the SC plant where it assembles 787 widebody jetliners, and a Volvo automobile plant in South Carolina's evacuation zone was also closed, company officials said.
"This is not going to be a glancing blow, " warned Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "You're going to be displaced from your home in coastal areas".
The US east coast is bracing for more than 40 inches of rain as Hurricane Florence barrels nearer to land.
As more than a million people head for higher ground, SC officials say they have no plans to move 650 inmates at a medium-security prison - opting instead to have them take their chances with a monster Category-3 hurricane barreling towards them. The Virginia National Guard is planning to initially bring up to 1,500 soldiers and airmen to offer help in the state's response operations.
'I can't emphasise enough the potential for unbelievable damage from wind, storm surge and inland flooding with this storm'.
"This storm is going to be a direct hit".
While one man concluded: 'We are about to get pounded, but since we have absolutely no control over it, all you can do is laugh, and pray for the best'.
The timing of the storm has also changed as forecasters warned that Florence could hesitate just offshore for days - punishing a longer stretch of coastline harder than previously feared - before pushing inland over the weekend.
Additionally, there will be damaging winds that could top 100 miles per hour, isolated tornadoes, and "devastating" storm surge.
Since Tuesday, forecasts have shifted the storm track towards the south and southwest after it reaches the coast, which could increase the storm's severity in coastal SC through Myrtle Beach and Charleston and even into parts of Georgia.
"All interests from SC into the Mid-Atlantic region should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials", the Hurricane Center said.
Trojniar said she and her husband were packing up belongings and plan to stack sandbags around their single-floor home in Wilmington's eerily named Landfall neighborhood near the ocean before checking into a hotel to ride out the storm, with plenty of wine.
High winds can take down trees and power lines. As it turns into southern SC.
Global News is on the ground in the storm-impacted areas and will be providing updates in the live blog below.
The coastal surge from Florence could leave the eastern tip of North Carolina under more than 9 feet of water in spots, projections showed.