Last Updated Sep 11, 2018 7:53 PM EDT
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. —is likely to make landfall early Friday in North Carolina, prompting evacuations from the Carolinas to Virginia. Hurricane and storm surge warnings went up Tuesday along the coast of both Carolinas.
By early morning in Myrtle Beach, hours before the mandatory evacuation order went into effect, traffic was bumper-to-bumper with locals and tourists fleeing the coast. By the afternoon it flowed smoothly, after officials reversed the east bound lane directing both lanes west, away from the ocean.
One mother from Asheboro, North Carolina, was told to leave the hotel where she had been vacationing with family.
"The only reason we're still here is because we have a 7-month-old baby with us," she said.
Myrtle Beach is a hot spot for tourists, but driving around on Tuesday, it looked like most had left. There were some locals who refused to leave. They were stocking up at grocery stores, which is where CBS News found Mike White.
"We have two generators, plenty of gasoline, everything's filled up. If I need more gas, I'll just take it out of my vehicle," he said.
Emergency officials reminded residents of the risk if they choose to stay.
"Hurricane Florence is the strongest storm to target the Carolinas and this part of our country in decades," said Jeff Byard, FEMA's associate administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery.