The dangerous eyewall of Hurricane Dorian is just off the North Carolina coast Thursday night.
"Get to safety and stay there," North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said in a Thursday news conference.
As of 11 p.m. Thursday, the Category 2 storm is about 35 miles southeast of Wilmington and 70 miles southwest of Cape Lookout, headed northeast at 13 mph. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 100 mph.
The coasts of both Carolinas are under a Hurricane Warning.
At 11 a.m. Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center extended the area under warning to stretch from north of the Savannah River to the North Carolina-Virginia border, as well as Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.
"We will be ready and we will not underestimate the damage this storm can cause," North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said in a Wednesday news conference. "... Today is the day to finish preparing."
A mandatory evacuation order is already in effect for North Carolina's barrier islands.
Forecasters say the hurricane will continue to move to the northeast Thursday night.
Dorian will continue moving along the South Carolina coast before moving near or over the North Carolina coast tonight and Friday.
Two deaths in North Carolina have been blamed on Hurricane Dorian. Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday that an 85-year-old Columbus County man was the first storm-related death in North Carolina. Cooper said the man fell from a ladder as he was preparing his home for the storm. On Thursday, Pamlico County Sheriff Chris Davis said a man pulling his boat out of the water in Oriental had a heart attack and died, according to WTVD. His identity was not released.