As Coastal North Carolina Feels Effects of Hurricane Florence, Gov. Cooper Urges North Carolinians to Be Safe


Governor Roy Cooper today continued to urge North Carolinians to seek safety as conditions deteriorate due to high winds, heavy rainfall and storm surge from Hurricane Florence.

"Surviving this storm will be a test of endurance, teamwork, common sense, and patience," Gov. Cooper said. "Thank you to those who evacuated and prepared. To anyone still unwilling to take this seriously, let me be clear: you need to get yourself to a safe place now and stay there."

Gov. Cooper urged North Carolinians to follow common-sense tips to stay safe:

  • Never drive roads covered by water. It only takes a few inches of water to wash away a car.
  • Stay indoors. Stay away from windows and close storm shutters.
  • Never use a generator indoors. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can build up quickly.
  • Stay in a secure space, like a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level of your home.
  • Be alert. Use a radio or another device for warnings about wind, tornadoes, rising water or orders to turn off gas, water, and power.

Thousands Lose Power

Utility companies are predicting power outages that could reach between one and three million across both North and South Carolina for days and possibly weeks. More than 79,000 people in North Carolina are without power as of 6:30 pm, with outages concentrated in eastern counties.

Thousands of Evacuees in Shelters

More than 12,000 people fleeing the storm have taken shelter at 126 shelters open across the state. State emergency management officials are working to set up even more shelters where people can stay safe through the storm and even after. Other evacuees are sheltering with family and friends or in hotels.

Shelters began opening Tuesday, with more in the process of opening to take in people displaced by evacuations. Shelter locations are listed at and, once open, will be listed on the Ready NC app.

Resources on Hand to Respond to the Storm

Governor Cooper has activated more than 2,800 National Guard soldiers to preserve life and safety, provide route clearance of roads, and support communications and logistics. North Carolina Emergency Management and FEMA have staged supplies and equipment strategically to respond to the storm, and first responders across the state are ready. Additional emergency personnel from 19 other states have arrived in North Carolina to assist with the storm, including swift water rescue teams, emergency medical personnel, and others. The N.C. Department of Transportation has deployed more than 2,300 workers across the state.

On Thursday, Gov. Cooper also requested an additional federal disaster declaration to speed recovery and resources.

2-1-1 Call Line Open 24/7 for People in Need of Help

The statewide information line can provide callers with nearby shelter, housing and other storm-related details. Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162, or text Florence to 898211. The information line is staffed around the clock to connect North Carolinians to storm resources.

Schools, Universities and State Parks, Museums, and Attractions Closed for Safety

Across North Carolina, more than 56 school districts are closed, and nearly all University of North Carolina system schools cancelled classes.

All NC state parks are closed and will remain closed through Sunday. Most state museums and other attractions are also closed or will close in the next 24 hours. For the full list of closings, visit the DNCR website.


The Governor’s Office has activated the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund for donations to support North Carolina’s response to Hurricane Florence. Visit or text FLORENCE to 20222 to donate to the NC Disaster Relief Fund.

Download the Ready NC app or follow NC Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter.

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