Thursday, August 31, 2023

Governor Cooper and Emergency Management Officials Urge Caution in the Wake of Idalia

Raleigh
Aug 31, 2023

Comunicado de Prensa en español

Governor Roy Cooper and emergency management officials continue to urge caution as Tropical Storm Idalia makes its way offshore. The storm caused some localized flooding, downed trees and power outages.  

The North Carolina Emergency Operations Center remains activated as the State Emergency Response Team continues response efforts in impacted areas from Idalia. Many school districts across eastern North Carolina are closed or operating remotely today due to the storm. In addition to the statewide State of Emergency, several counties and towns declared their own State of Emergencies. 

The National Weather Service issued numerous watches and warnings for most of the state as the storm passed through North Carolina. Idalia brought two possible tornadoes in Brunswick and New Hanover counties. The National Weather Service has teams out today assessing the damage. Last night into this morning, the state also saw 2-6 inches of rain across eastern North Carolina with some areas seeing higher amounts. 

“I appreciate so many people stepping up to take precautions and there is still the possibility of heavy rain, gusty winds and storm surge, particularly in eastern North Carolina,” said Governor Cooper. “It’s important that people stay off flooded roads and continue to listen to local officials.” 

The possibility of flash flooding continues across central and northern parts of eastern North Carolina, especially with the possibility of 1to 3 inches or more of additional rainfall before tapering off this afternoon. Residents and visitors to the area should continue to exercise caution as the effects of this storm will linger for a few days. The surge threat will continue across the Outer Banks through the day as winds have shifted. There could be 2-3 feet of inundation along the Outer Banks, especially north of Cape Hatteras.

Utility crews continue to work to restore power, at the peak of the power outages there were 35,000 without power across North Carolina. As of 11 a.m. there were a little more than 14,000.

The storm also impacted travel in eastern North Carolina. As of 1:50 p.m., North Carolina has 79 road closures due mostly to flooding. Most of them are state roads in southeastern North Carolina. People should never travel through flooded roads and instead turn around and find another route. Never drive around road signs or barricades. Doing so is illegal and dangerous, as those signs are there to protect peoples’ safety. 

“The State Emergency Response Team is a partnership that includes many public, private, non-profit and volunteer agencies that together allow us to take a whole of community approach to disaster response and recovery. We are grateful to all the first responders, swift water rescue teams, our utility partners and all those that have responded to this storm and continue to work to help the people of North Carolina,” said Will Ray, Director of North Carolina Emergency Management. “Moving into the future we will continue to assess damages and work with our local officials to fulfill any unmet needs they may have.”

North Carolina Emergency Management officials offer these tips for being prepared and remaining safe:

  • Pay close attention to your local weather forecast, and be aware of conditions expected in your area

  • Have a way to receive weather watches and warnings, like a weather app in your cell phone

  • Follow directions from your local emergency officials

  • Do not drive on flooded roads – Turn around, don’t drown.

  • Be prepared for the possibility of power outages. Use battery powered light sources – avoid candles.

  • If your power goes out, never use generators or barbecue grills in your home or garage – they create deadly carbon monoxide fumes that can kill.

  • Stay away from any downed power lines and report them to your power company.

  • Visit ReadyNC.gov for instructions on how to prepare and assemble your family emergency kit 

  • Visit DriveNC.gov for information on road closings from NC Department of Transportation.