Governor Cooper is urging North Carolinians to be safe and cautious during heavy rainfall, possible flooding and power outages as Hurricane Ian bears down on the state.
"Our message today is simple. Be smart and be safe. We’ve faced storms like this before and we know what to do," Governor Cooper said. "Especially this weekend, I appreciate the efforts of emergency management officials, our national guard, state highway patrol and other first responders to keep people safe."
Widespread rainfall amounts of two to six inches are expected across the state going into early Saturday with locally higher totals up to eight inches. This rainfall could lead to flash flooding, coastal storm surge, landslides in the mountains and rising rivers. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for all of North Carolina except southwestern portions of the state.
Gusty winds will continue on Friday, peaking in the afternoon and into the overnight hours going into Saturday. Western North Carolina could see gusts of up to 35-55 miles per hour. Most North Carolina counties are under a Wind Advisory into Saturday.
The State Emergency Response Team activated Thursday at the State Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh and moved to 24-hour operations on Friday morning and will continue through the weekend.
The NCDOT has reported ferry routes are shut down. For the latest information on road closures, visit drivenc.gov. More than 10,000 utility workers in the Carolinas are poised to respond to power outages when it’s safe to do so. More than 2,200 NCDOT officials prepared equipment and are on standby waiting to respond around-the-clock later today and into this weekend. Crews fueled up and prepared more than 221 motor graders, 376 backhoes and loaders, 1,440 chainsaws and 1,368 trucks to cut and shove downed trees and debris from roads.
More than 29,000 homes and businesses were without power as of 1:30 pm.
Residents are advised to stay aware and keep a watch on the forecast for Friday and over the weekend. State officials advise these tips to make sure your family is personally prepared:
- Have multiple ways to receive emergency info, including watches and warnings. Make sure emergency alerts are enabled on your cell phone and download a weather app.
- Have an emergency plan. Know where you would go if you need to evacuate. Make a plan to stay with family, friends or at a hotel. Public shelters should be a last resort.
- Gather some emergency supplies or refresh your emergency kit. Visit ReadyNC.gov for info on how to build an emergency kit.
- If you live at the coast, you should know if you live in a coastal evacuation zone. Visit KnowYourZone.nc.gov to see if you are in a pre-determined evacuation zone. Learn your zone and listen for it if evacuations are ordered by local governments.
- Check to see if your community offers emergency alert services for its residents.
- Avoid unnecessary travel.