Governor Declares State of Emergency to Expedite Power Restoration as Emergency Managers Survey Storm Damage
Governor Pat McCrory this afternoon declared a State of Emergency waiving vehicle weight and hours of service restrictions so that utility crews could restore power quickly. By 3:00 p.m., nearly 21,000 customers – mostly in Forsyth, Gaston and Mecklenburg counties - were still without power, down from a peak of more than 122,000 Wednesday.
“Our first responders, emergency managers and meteorologists deserve our gratitude for keeping us informed and safe throughout the storm. Once again, our team has proven its professionalism and dedication to keeping our citizens safe,” said Governor McCrory.
While much of North Carolina escaped Wednesday’s severe weather with minimal damage, some areas north of the Triangle did sustain moderate damages. Local and state emergency managers this afternoon are surveying storm damage in Granville and Vance counties.
Preliminary Damage Assessment teams comprised of county and state officials are out combing the hardest hit areas to determine the extent and severity of property damage. Once they complete their appraisals, North Carolina Emergency Management specialists will compile the damage estimates to see which areas, if any, may qualify for further assistance from either the state or federal government.
Two thirds of North Carolina spent most of Wednesday under severe storm warnings and tornado watches. There have been unconfirmed reports of tornadoes in Cumberland, Durham, Granville, Vance and Wayne counties; National Weather Service meteorologists are meeting today with local officials to determine where tornadoes actually touched down. While there were numerous reports of downed trees and power lines across much of the state, most of the damage was relatively minor. There were reports of over-wash on N.C. Highway 12 along the Outer Banks.
Emergency management officials had no reports of serious storm-related injuries or fatalities.
“Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are, by their very nature, unpredictable,” said Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry. “It’s impossible to know when or where they may strike; which makes it all the more important for our citizens to ‘stay alert, so they don’t get hurt.’ As we begin the traditional severe storm and tornado season, I encourage everyone to pay close attention to the weather.”
More information on tornadoes and overall emergency preparedness can be found in the ReadyNC mobile app and online at ReadyNC.org.