Don’t hold us to this exact time frame — no early force is in control here — but Hurricane Florence is supposed to slam into the North Carolina coast sometime late Thursday or early Friday.

As of midday Wednesday, Florence was a Category 4 storm carrying sustained winds of more than 130 mph. Again, there’s no telling what force it will carry at landfall, but it’s going to be bad.

It’s also going to be wet. Go online and you’ll see predictions of rainfall of “biblical proportions.” For those who think that’s weather forecaster hyperbole, we’ll refer you to the events of last year in metropolitan Houston, where Hurricane Harvey brought anywhere from 30 inches to an astounding 60.58 inches (in Nederland, Texas) of rain.

The resulting floods caused billions of dollars in damage and, a University of Wisconsin researcher told the Washington Post, was a “1-in-1,000-year event” that “hasn’t happened in our modern era of observations.”

Governors of both North and South Carolina — there’s a chance Florence could linger around the coast, then hook southward — and local officials have ordered residents in the danger zones to evacuate.

The media on Wednesday spotlighted plenty of holdouts who planned to ride out the storm. One woman with children interviewed on MSNBC drew particular attention when she said she didn’t want to leave her “family and friends and our home” unprotected “for a prolonged amount of time” and bemoaned how “getting back into town after the storms is very difficult.”

She said her family and other neighbors who planned to stay felt there was “strength in numbers,” and they would “band together and make it through.”

We certainly hope so, but we hope even more strongly that she and her neighbors come to their senses and flee. Americans are an individualistic, stubborn and oftentimes fatalistic lot and don’t like to be told what to do in such situations. That’s particularly true for folks who choose to live in hurricane-prone coastal areas.

We generally don’t tell people how to paddle their particular canoes, but we aren’t afraid to call out the deficiencies in their cerebral activity when a potentially killer storm is bearing down.

Still, the focus shouldn’t be on casting even deserved stones. Unless there’s a divine miracle and Florence fizzles, there will be a bunch of people not all that far away needing a whole lot of help. We're sure aid agencies already are drawing up a game plan.

This area has responded before. We’re sure it will again.

Think of those from across the U.S. who made their way to Alabama after the tornadoes in March.

Pay it back. It’s what neighbors — even extended ones — do.