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Hurricane Florence's winds may have weakened to 105 mph, but the monster storm lurked off the Carolina coast and threatened to dump torrents of rain and catastrophic flooding to a region that's home to 10 million people.
More than 1.5 million people have been told to leave parts of Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia.
The following are images of residents preparing for the colossal storm, which was expected to make landfall by Friday morning.
Image above: A view of Hurricane Florence is shown churning in the Atlantic in a west-northwesterly direction heading for the eastern coastline of the United States, taken by cameras outside the International Space Station, Sept. 12, 2018.
Doug Lewis (L) and Chris Williams use plywood to cover the windows of Knuckleheads bar in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Wednesday as they try to protect the business ahead Hurricane Florence's landfall.
President Donald Trump speaks while meeting with FEMA Administrator Brock Long and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in the Oval Office on Tuesday.
Employees help a customer load a portable generator into a pickup truck at a Home Depot in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Tuesday.
Dave Collins of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, shovels sand into a bag on Tuesday while the coastal area prepares for Florence.
Al Brookins of Haverlock, North Carolina, poses in Atlantic Beach on Wednesday in a T-shirt that lists hurricanes he has lived through.
A surfer in Wrightsville Beach rides the wave as Hurricane Florence churns in the Atlantic on Wednesday.
A store's bread shelves are left bare Tuesday as people stock up on food in Myrtle Beach.
People line up to enter a hurricane shelter at Trask Middle School in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Tuesday.
Waves crash around the Oceana Pier as the outer edges of Hurricane Florence begin to affect the coast in Atlantic Beach on Thursday.
Customers line up to buy propane at Socastee Hardware store in Myrtle Beach on Monday.
Jacob Whitehead (L) and Matt Jones hit golf balls into the surf as Hurricane Florence approaches on Tuesday in Wrightsville Beach.
South Carolina National Guardsmen transfer bulk diesel fuel into fuel tanker trucks for distribution in advance of Hurricane Florence, in North Charleston, South Carolina, on Monday.
Residents evacuate from coastal areas near Wallace, North Carolina, on Tuesday.