RALEIGH, N.C. -- In a news conference on Wednesday, Gov. Roy Cooper warned North Carolina residents to take Hurricane Florence seriously. 

  • Hurricane Florence is headed toward North Carolina.
  • It is set to be a historic weather event.
  • Gov. Cooper and state officials are warning residents to take proper precautions. 

Historic measures and evacuations are taking place as the state prepares for the worst ahead of Florence's arrival, with the storm barreling toward North Carolina. 

"This storm is a monster. It is an extremely dangerous, life-threatening, historic hurricane. Don’t bet your life on riding out a monster," he said.

RELATED: Gov. Cooper on Hurricane Florence: 'We are bracing for a hard hit; get ready now'

Gov. Cooper has ordered several mandatory evacuations and called on residents to have plans now. For the first time, the state is ordering mandatory barrier island evacuations. These evacuations are typically made on the local level. 

The governor said that strong, damaging winds, as well as torrential rain, will stretch far inland. "We want you to make sure you are ready for extended rain and wind. We cannot expect this storm to blow over in a matter of hours. Rivers will flood their banks. Preparation is our best defense."

Cooper also urged residents to get food, supplies and to follow evacuation orders and the weather forecast. "You need supplies for several days. North Carolinians are strong and we are resilient. We will get through this. We have weathered tough hurricanes before and we will do it again."

According to Cooper and state officials, they believe Raleigh is far enough west for coastal-area evacuations, although inland flooding will still be an issue for most of the state. 

The storm is expected to make landfall between Thursday night and Friday morning. 

Stay up to date on the clean-up and aftermath of Florence: