Hurricane Florence has smashed into the US East Coast packing winds of up to 90mph.
Rescue workers in North Carolina meanwhile were scrambling to save people stranded in their homes. According to Fire Chief Glen Rogers, there are in fact only 12 people left on the beach to sit out the storm.
Right now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center is predicting that Florence will become a tropical storm tomorrow (Sept. 15) over SC, continue northwest to eastern Kentucky, then swing northeast and track over most of New England early next week.
Officials have warned that the life-threatening storm could come with maximum sustained wind speeds of 90mph and carries a risk of "catastrophic" flooding. He added that Hurricane Florence poses a challenge because it is expected to drift over hard-hit areas.
The NHC said hurricane-force winds extended outward 80 miles from the center of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extended almost 195 miles out.
North Carolina's governor, Roy Cooper, said Florence was set to cover nearly all of the state in several feet of water.
Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats that could be used to pluck people from the floodwaters.
"Catastrophic freshwater flooding expected over portions of North and SC".
Coastal streets were inundated with ocean water, causing damage to dozens of homes and businesses, officials said.
Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 story late Thursday, and now contains maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour with higher gusts.
"A big worry about Hurricane Florence is that it's not acting like a normal hurricane", said Al Jazeera's Andy Gallacher, reporting from Wilmington, North Carolina.
In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River trapped people, and Mayor Dana Outlaw told The Charlotte Observer that about 200 had been rescued by 5 am Residents reached out for help through the night by phone and social media.
"I've never been one to leave for a storm but this one kind of had me spooked", he said.
About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, jamming westbound roads and highways for miles.
Wake County is not yet under a tornado watch, but it will remain under a flash flood watch until 8 p.m. Sunday and a tropical storm warning until further notice. Fortunately for House, he says this storm should not be a devastating event for the beach town in terms of loss of life.