RALEIGH-While Hurricane Irma’s current track appears more favorable for North Carolina, the potential remains for dangerous weather across the state Monday through Tuesday, and Governor Roy Cooper urged residents to continue with their emergency preparations.
“Things are looking better for North Carolina with Hurricane Irma, but our state is not yet in the clear and we can’t let our guard down,” said Governor Cooper. “We’re continuing to get ready, and I encourage families and businesses across our state to do the same.”
Irma remains a large and powerful storm, and even a glancing blow to the state could cause damage, the governor and emergency management officials said.
While the latest forecast indicates a more westward track for Hurricane Irma, there is still the potential for severe weather across all of North Carolina. Heavy rain, flash flooding (especially in low-lying areas), tornadoes and scattered power outages are possible most anywhere across the state Monday and Tuesday. Landslides are possible in the mountains and coastal areas will see strong rip currents.
Governor Cooper said the State of Emergency issued yesterday remains in effect until the threat has passed.
The State Emergency Operations Center remains activated and operations will continue as long as needed. North Carolina National Guard troops and state troopers also remain on standby.
State transportation officials announced that vehicles left unattended along interstates I-26, I-77, I-85 and I-95 in North Carolina will be towed to help keep traffic moving. Traffic volume has increased tremendously as residents from other states evacuate. Also, additional Incident Management Assistance Teams will be positioned along those interstates that are more congested. North Carolina transportation officials are working with their counterparts in Georgia and South Carolina to coordinate evacuation traffic.
Department of Environmental Quality staff are working with local communities to activate debris storage sites to speed up the cleanup process. They also are communicating with local public water systems and coastal fishermen to ensure they are prepared for the storm.
Cooper praised the county partners for their hard work in preparing for the storm crediting the partnership between local and state agencies as one of the reasons North Carolina has such a strong and resilient team.
The governor reminded residents to have emergency plans and supply kits in place and stay tuned to weather forecasts and local media.