On the coast, mandatory evacuations have forced residents west in an attempt to get out of the area before the storm.
Coastal residents in Pine Knoll Shores boarded up their homes, uncertain of when they will be able to return.
In Atlantic Beach, people packed sandbags while they still had time.
The following counties have mandatory evacuations in effect:
- Carteret County
- Craven County
- Currituck County
- Dare County
- Hyde County
- Jones County
- Onslow County
- Pamlico County
- Tyrrell County
Evacuation buses left Onslow County Wednesday morning, taking those without transportation of their own to shelter in Raleigh.
Carteret County officials held a news conference Wednesday morning, urging anyone who has not left to get out.
As a last resort, the county said it will have a pet-friendly shelter at Newport Middle School, which will open at 5 p.m.
If you need transportation to the shelter, officials say to call at 252-222-5841.
For a full list of available shelters, click here.