The earliest reasonable time that tropical storm force winds will reach the coast of the Carolinas is Wednesday night, but the most likely time is sometime Thursday morning, the hurricane center predicted on Monday.
Maps of the storm's trajectory showed it likely to come ashore somewhere near the border of North Carolina and SC. Georgia, West Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Delaware, New Jersey, southern Pennsylvania, and eastern Tennessee, Kentucky, and OH could also see strong winds.
"You see the eye of the storm but you also see this darker red color", explained FOX 13's meteorologist Dave Osterberg, pointing to the enhanced satellite image.
The NHC also was tracking two other hurricanes farther out in the Atlantic. That means, she said, that the Wilmington region is going to be affected by what she said is going to be a major hurricane that could reach category 4 strength, which means maximum sustained winds of 130 to 156 miles per hour.
In a statement the centre said: "Further strengthening is anticipated, and Florence is expected to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday".
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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Neighboring Dare County - where much of the staff that looks after the herd lives - and other coastal counties along the coast issued evacuation orders for all residents and tourists.
Florence could bring a life-threatening coastal storm surge, and inland flooding as far north as Virginia, the NHC said.
At 03:00 GMT Issac was about 2 100km east of the Windward Islands - a region still recovering from last year's powerful Hurricane Maria - with winds of 120km/h.
"With Hurricane Florence on its way, we determined that this is the safest decision", Michael Glassner of the Trump Campaign said in a statement.
Hurricane Helene, was spinning in the Atlantic off West Africa's Cape Verde islands with 85-mph (140-kph) winds on Monday, but did not appear to pose an immediate threat to land.
"We do not want to risk one SC life in this hurricane", Governor Henry McMaster said at a news conference.
Hurricane Isaac - which late Sunday became the fifth hurricane of the season - is heading west towards the Caribbean.
Florence's track continues to show it will impact the southeastern US coast, impacting the Carolinas and Virginia. That would cause more flooding rains across a large swath of the South, after Tropical Storm Gordon inundated the area earlier this month.