State Remains Ready for Impacts from Hurricane Irma

RALEIGH

Even without a direct hit on North Carolina, Hurricane Irma is expected to bring heavy winds and rain to the state beginning Monday and North Carolinians need to be prepared, Governor Roy Cooper said today. 

“We’re continuing to take preparing for this storm seriously, and we’re tracking forecasts closely,” Gov. Cooper. “I’m asking families and businesses across the state to do the same: make sure you’re ready for whatever Irma brings, and stay tuned to your local weather and news.”

While the latest forecast continues to indicate a northwestward track for Hurricane Irma, there is still the potential for severe weather across the state. Dangerous surf and rip currents will continue through the next several days along the entire coast. Heavy rain, flash flooding (especially in low-lying areas) and landslides may occur in the mountains. Scattered power outages are possible anywhere across the state Monday and Tuesday. 

Any shift in Irma’s track could mean changes in impacts for North Carolina, and state officials are continuing to stay in contact with the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center.

The State Emergency Operations Center remains activated and operations will continue as long as needed. The North Carolina National Guard will begin staging crews in Charlotte, Greensboro and Asheville on Sunday in preparation to support storm response activities if needed, including debris removal, shelter operations, and delivering and distributing supplies. 

State Emergency Management officials are shifting staff from eastern areas to support the western parts of the state and working with hydrologists to identify possible trouble spots for flooding and landslides in mountain counties.  

Gov. Cooper also encouraged North Carolinians to be mindful that some gas stations may experience temporary fuel shortages as evacuees from other states refuel here. 

“The lines may be a little longer and we ask everyone to be considerate with fuel consumption and take only what you need so that others may have some, too,” he said.

The governor also warned about scams related to storm relief. He said scammers try to take advantage by using fraudulent websites and fake charities to solicit donations for storm victims. Messages sent asking for donations may include malware that could infect your computer. 

“Don’t respond to unsolicited emails and texts or click on links in them. It’s best to give through reputable charities that you contact directly,” said Gov. Cooper.

The governor reminded residents to have emergency plans and supply kits in place and stay tuned to weather forecasts and local media.  

Follow N.C. Emergency Management on Twitter and Facebook for the latest on Hurricane Irma. You can also get real-time traffic and weather on the ReadyNC mobile app.