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North Carolina Readies for Hurricane Michael 45 Counties Now Under Tropical Storm Warning for High Winds, Heavy Rain

RALEIGH

With tropical storm warnings expanded to nearly half the state, Governor Roy Cooper this evening urged North Carolinians to stay alert and prepare for the incoming storm.

“Hurricane Michael hit Florida with brutal force and is quickly heading for North Carolina,” said Gov. Cooper. “Michael will lose some of its punch before it reaches us but will still pack damaging wind and flooding rain and we need to take it seriously.”

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for 45 counties in eastern and central North Carolina and a high wind warning is in effect for three counties.

In general, the heaviest rain will fall west of the storm’s track and the strongest winds southeast of the track. The heaviest rains are expected Thursday and Thursday night. Rain will fall statewide, with central North Carolina and the Foothills expecting as much as 7 inches of rain. Eastern North Carolina expects to see the strongest winds, with 24-45 mph sustained winds and gusts up to 50 mph.

High winds plus wet ground are likely to cause downed trees and power lines during the storm. Duke Energy today announced it is projecting 300,000-500,000 power outages in the Carolinas. The company has 6,000 workers ready to restore power once the storm has passed.

Forecasts show coastal areas can expect storm surge and coastal flooding. A Storm Surge Watch (2-4 feet of inundation possible) is in effect for the sound-side of the Outer Banks from Ocracoke Inlet to Duck with 2 to 4 feet of inundation possible.

Heavy rain could cause flash flooding and river flooding. Gov. Cooper cautioned people who live in areas that have been flooded before to keep a close eye on the forecast and to be ready to evacuate if asked to.

To prepare for the storm, Governor Cooper earlier today issued a State of Emergency and waived certain transportation rules. He also activated the National Guard, and 150 troops have reported for duty.

Across the state, 26 school systems have closed for tomorrow and four will dismiss early to keep students safe. The State Fair also delayed its opening from Thursday to Friday due to the storm.

“We know people are storm weary from Florence, but we must not let down our guard for Michael,” Gov. Cooper said.

Tips for Emergency Plans and Supplies Kit:

  • Be sure your emergency supply kits have enough bottled water and non-perishable food to sustain each family member for three to seven days. Include a weather radio, flashlight, extra batteries, toiletries, change of clothes, blankets or sleeping bag, rain gear and appropriate footwear. Also include cell phone charger, prescription medicines, copies of important documents, such as birth certificates and insurance policies.
  • Know your evacuation route, and find out where friends and loved ones will be and how to get in touch with them.
  • Plan for your pets. Gather supplies for your pets and put them in an easily-accessible container.
  • Prepare your home. Clean out gutters and clear property of debris that could damage buildings in strong winds.
  • Stay tuned to local news for the latest advisories from the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center (NHC), as well as state and local emergency management officials.

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.