Updated 5 p.m.
Duke Energy is projecting there could be more than 700,000 power outages due to Hurricane Dorian – including some that could last days.
The National Weather Service put parts of the Triangle, including Wake County, under a tropical storm warning. Parts of the Triangle might see flash floods and residents were warned that driving conditions could become dangerous.
"Hurricane Dorian is a historic storm headed straight up the Carolina coastline," said Duke Energy meteorology director Nick Keener, in a statement. "This slow-moving, powerful storm will bring hurricane- and tropical-storm-force winds, and rain, over a large area of our coastal, Pee Dee and Triangle regions."
At the 5 p.m. update on Thursday, the National Weather Service reported that Dorian had sped up slightly and that storm surge remained the biggest threat. "A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, during the next 36 hours in the indicated locations," according to the report.
The U.S. Coast Guard was preparing boats and helicopters for any rescue operations that could be needed after Hurricane Dorian makes its way along the South Carolina coast.
Capt. John Reed said Wednesday that boats had been brought in from other Coast Guard stations along the Southeastern coast. They've been placed at the Charleston Area Convention Center in North Charleston.
A helicopter is stationed at Savannah, Georgia, about 100 miles away.
Aside from being ready for water rescues, Reed says the Coast Guard is focused on keeping areas around the Port of Charleston safe so the port can reopen as quickly as possible after the storm.
In 2017, $69 billion worth of cargo moved through the port, which is a major employer and economic driver in South Carolina.