Jeff Byard of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) invoked a former boxing champion to warn residents that it would bring "a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast".
The storm's maximum sustained winds were clocked at 120 miles per hour (193 km per hour), down from a peak of 140 mph a day earlier before Florence was downgraded from a Category 4.
Florence is expected to make landfall late Thursday night or early Friday morning, Mountain Time, somewhere between Atlantic Beach, NC and Savannah, GA.
The new track prompted Georgia's governor to declare a state of emergency for all 159 counties on Tuesday afternoon.
"The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety", Deal said.
A state of emergency has been declared in both North and SC.
Another commenter said: 'That hurricane better be taking me to dinner first'.
Hurricane Florence, growing in size despite its weakening winds, churned ever closer to the US East Coast on Wednesday as evacuations expanded south from the Carolinas into Georgia to counter the threat of deadly high seas and calamitous floods.
In a trailer park outside Wilmington, Alondra Espinoza was preparing to leave with her two young children. To escape any potential damage, they flew to the other side of the country, to Paine Field, an airport next to Boeing's Everett, Wash. assembly plant.
"Everything is packed", Espinoza said.
One wrote: 'I hope everyone in the path of Florence's massive penis stays safe'.
Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, he said: "Disaster is at the doorstep and it's coming in". "If you are on the coast, there is still time to get out safely".
Tropical storm-force winds extended 195 miles (315 kilometers) from Florence's center, and hurricane-force winds reached out 70 miles (110 kilometers). A tropical storm watch was also in effect for parts of Virginia.
SC ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents while North Carolina ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination.