Florence is now 485 miles from Wilmington, North Carolina.
More than 80,000 people were already without power as the storm began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters.
- Tropical Storm Florence continued crawling slowly across SC late Friday as life-threatening storm surges and strong winds were expected to continue overnight, amid a rising inland flood threat.
The storm remained a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour.
"Heavy and long-lasting rainfall could lead to catastrophic flooding in inland parts of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia".
"The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves", the NHC said. "Surge-related flooding can vary greatly over short distances", the advisory said.
Ireland is expected to endure the worst of the storm, while Wales and the Cornish peninsula will bear its brunt in England.
Barbados is expected to start feeling the impact of tropical storm Isaac between late tonight and early morning.
Hurricane Florence turns deadly as it pounds Carolinas
The storm was expected to head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said. Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
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Given the lack of deep convection to sustain the cyclone, continual gradual weakening is expected. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 175 miles from the center.
Tecklenburg said his flood-prone city is preparing for "copious rain" by clearing out the city's drainage system and getting boats and portable pumps ready. Isaac is forecast to gradually weaken over the next few days, and could degenerate into a tropical wave during that time.
Rain chances Friday and Saturday are only at 20 percent after the noon. Locally higher amounts for storm surge are possible along the rivers and sounds near New Bern, NC.
N.H.C. said at 5:00 p.m. that the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located near latitude 14.9 North, longitude 63.2 West. Isaac is moving toward the west near 16 miles per hour (26 km/h), and this general motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected for the next few days.
Areas from Edisto Beach, South Carolina, through to Ocrakoke Inlet, North Carolina, and the Pamlico Sound were under a tropical storm warning. Swells generated by the storm could produce life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Because the system has slowed down so much, it will continue to dump lots of rain over several hours and even days.
The storm is also predicted to bring historic rainfall of up to 35 inches to the Wilmington region.