Thursday, October 11, 2018

Gov. Cooper Urges North Carolinians to Stay Alert and Safe as Tropical Storm Michael Moves Through North Carolina

Oct 11, 2018

As North Carolina feels the impacts of Tropical Storm Michael, Governor Roy Cooper continued to urge all North Carolinians to take this storm seriously, and stay alert as conditions deteriorate during the day due to high winds and heavy rainfall.

"For North Carolina, Michael isn’t as bad as Florence, but it adds unwelcomed insult to injury, so we must be on alert," Gov. Cooper said. "If you have to travel, slow down and leave extra space between your car and others. And never drive through standing or rushing water, or around road barricades."

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for most of the state through early Friday morning. Flash flooding is Michael’s greatest threat to the state, though North Carolina will also see impacts from minor to moderate river flooding in the Haw, Tar and Rocky rivers; gusty winds; possible tornadoes; and coastal flooding. Travel will likely become hazardous with flash flooding and debris in roadways.

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

  • Never drive on 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. 
  • Be alert. Use a radio or another device for warnings about wind, tornadoes, rising water or orders to turn off gas, water, and power. 

Power Outages/Road Closures
Utility companies are predicting power outages that could reach 300,000-500,000 across both North and South Carolina. About 17,000 people in North Carolina are without power as of 12 PM, with outages concentrated in eastern counties. State transportation officials report 16 road closures associated with Tropical Storm Michael.

Resources on Hand to Respond to the Storm
To prepare for the storm, Governor Cooper yesterday issued a State of Emergency and waived certain transportation rules. He also activated 150 National Guard soldiers to preserve life and safety, provide route clearance of roads, and support communications and logistics. North Carolina Emergency Management has staged supplies and equipment strategically to respond to the storm, and first responders across the state are ready. More than 2,100 state transportation employees are ready to respond to Tropical Storm Michael, and transportation officials report 16 road closures associated with Michael.

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 to reach this information line, which is staffed around the clock to connect North Carolinians to storm and other resources. 

Schools, State Parks, Museums, and Attractions Closed for Safety
Across North Carolina, more than 45 school districts are closed. 

Some public facilities operated by the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources have closed today, including: the North Carolina Zoo; all state historic sites (as of noon), except for Roanoke Island Festival Park; Chimney Rock State Park; Rumbling Bald Access; Grandfather Mountain State Park; South Mountains State Park; Museum of the Cape Fear; and the Southport Maritime Museum. Jennette’s Pier will close to the public at 8 p.m. Thursday, and reopen at 8 a.m. on Friday. For the full list of closings, visit the DNCR website. 

The State Fair also delayed its opening from Thursday to Friday due to Tropical Storm Michael.

Download the ReadyNC app or follow NC Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter for weather updates and to learn how you can prepare and recover following the storm.