The Atlantic hurricane's maximum sustained winds have increased to almost 130 miles per hour (195 kilometers per hour), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in an advisory issued at noon Eastern Time (1600 GMT).
In 1989, Hurricane Hugo grew to a Category 4 storm before coming ashore near Charleston, South Carolina, where it caused about $14.1 billion in damage when adjusted for inflation, making it the 13th costliest US storm, according to Hurricane Center records.
Olivia could weaken into a strong tropical storm within 48 hours, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu.
It was moving west at 13 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm is expected to pass between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The governors of North and SC and Virginia have all declared states of emergency ahead of the approaching storm. Florence is predicted to bring "life-threatening impacts" to North Carolina and neighboring states late this week. This week, most major USA airlines are waiving change fees for passengers whose plans change because they are flying to or from cities in the path of Hurricane Florence. Emergency officials say they're keeping a close eye on the forecast and where to move resources to respond to the storm.
In Holden Beach, North Carolina, in the storm's path, longtime residents were boarding up homes and securing possessions.
On North Carolina's Outer Banks, Dawn Farrow Taylor, 50, was gathering photos and important documents and filling prescriptions Monday before heading inland.
September 10 is the peak of the hurricane season in the Atlantic and the time when the strongest hurricane develop.
If the strength continue to rise, Florence will be one of just three storms in the records to have winds of 150 miles-per-hour this far north, said Phil Klotzbach, a Colorado State University hurricane researcher. Locations that have been directly hit by a category 4 hurricane in the past have been uninhabitable for weeks. It could hang over the area with a prolonged rain.
Initial predictions didn't quite pan out this year - so far, we've had nine named storms and five hurricanes.
The wild horses that make their homes on the coast of the Tar Heel state are staying put, and they might be better prepared to outlast a storm than anyone.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency warns that Cat 3 winds will snap or uproot many trees and cause major damage to even well-built famed houses. "Although Isaac is forecast to begin weakening when it approaches the Lesser Antilles, it is still expected to be at or near hurricane intensity when it reaches the islands".