With Hurricane Florence now a category 4 hurricane, Governor Roy Cooper this evening urged North Carolina residents, businesses and visitors not to delay preparations and to follow evacuation orders. The storm is expected to make landfall near Wilmington on Thursday with impacts starting Wednesday.
“We face three critical threats from Florence: ocean surge along our coast, strong winds, and inland flooding from heavy rain,” Governor Cooper said. “Wherever you live in North Carolina, you need to get ready for this storm now and you need to evacuate if asked to.”
Storm preparations are underway throughout the state, and most coastal counties have ordered evacuations. In North Carolina, when to evacuate starts with a local decision because local officials know their communities and their people best. The governor urges residents to follow evacuation orders issued for their areas.
As of 6 pm, the following counties have ordered evacuations, with more anticipated tomorrow:
- Bertie County – voluntary evacuation of waterfront and low-lying areas effective Wednesday, Sept 12
- Brunswick County - voluntary evacuation of unincorporated areas effective Tuesday, Sept 11; mandatory evacuation of low-lying and flood prone areas, people in substandard or mobile homes effective Tuesday, Sept 11
- Currituck County - mandatory evacuation for Currituck Outer Banks (Corolla and Carova) effective 7am Tuesday, Sept 11
- Dare County - mandatory evacuation for Hatteras Island effective noon Monday, Sept 10; mandatory evacuation for entire county effective 7am Tuesday, Sept 11
- Hyde County - mandatory evacuation for visitors to Ocracoke effective Monday, Sept. 10; mandatory evacuation for residents to Ocracoke effective Tuesday, Sept 11
- New Hanover County - mandatory evacuation for UNCW
- Onslow County – voluntary evacuation of unincorporated areas and Surf City effective Monday, Sept 10; mandatory evacuation of Topsail Beach effective Tuesday, Sept 11
This afternoon Governor Cooper led a briefing for local and state officials as well as Congressional representatives on preparations for Hurricane Florence. Gov. Cooper, NC Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry and FEMA Regional Administrator Grazia Szczech briefed the officials on evacuation status, the schedule of shelter openings and supply and heavy equipment mobilization needed for rescue and recovery.
The governor thanked the officials on the call for their diligent work in preparing areas for Hurricane Florence’s arrival, and pledged close ongoing cooperation among the state, local and federal governments in the days ahead.
“Responding to a storm of this ferocity take strong cooperation between local, state and federal government along with utilities, volunteer groups and other partners,” Gov. Cooper said. “We are praying for the best, while working together to be ready for the worst.”
Governor Cooper also took steps today to ensure that the state has enough fuel for people evacuating ahead of the storm and for preparation and recovery efforts. He signed Executive Order No. 53, waiving certain fuel vapor regulations to ensure adequate supply of fuel as Hurricane Florence approaches.
The Governor’s Office also today activated North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund for donations to support North Carolina’s response to Hurricane Florence. To donate, visit rebuild.nc.gov.
Download the Ready NC app or follow NC Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter for weather updates and to learn how you can prepare for the storm.