Local & State
|North Carolina prepares for Hurricane Dorian's winds and surge|
|Gov. Cooper urges awareness as storm nears|
|Published Tuesday, September 3, 2019 10:39 am|
|PHOTO | DOMINIC-MADORI DAVIS|
|Palm Coast and the rest of eastern Florida brace for Hurricane Dorian, a Category 4 storm that could devastate communities still recovering from previous hurricanes.|
Gov. Roy Cooper is advising North Carolina residents to prepare for Hurricane Dorian’s onslaught by declaring a state of emergency.
“I urge you to closely follow the forecast and listen to your local officials,” Cooper said Monday. “If they order an evacuation, please follow their instructions.”
Dorian remained an extremely dangerous, slow-moving as of Tuesday morning, despite weakening to Category 3 strength with maximum sustained winds of 120 miles per hour. The storm, located 100 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida, blasted the Bahamas with high winds and storm surge.
Dorian's relentless assault on the islands has included winds in excess of 185 miles per hour that have killed at least five people, ripped roofs off of houses, flipped cars, and caused widespread devastation. The slow-moving nature of the hurricane greatly increased the storm’s impact, as Dorian had a plethora of time to inundate the islands with Category 5 winds and flooding downpours. Between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. local time, the hurricane moved only 14 miles, equivalent to the length of Manhattan, New York.
Cooper signed an executive order waiving fees for using ferries to evacuate and transport supplies and announced a request for a federal disaster declaration from President Donald Trump, which will allow additional disaster assistance if it is needed.
Plans for shelters are being finalized in North Carolina, including a 100-bed medical support shelter for evacuees. Additional shelters inland are preparing for evacuees.
Cooper activated 300 members of the North Carolina National Guard to assist with logistics, transportation and a variety of operations. The Department of Transportation has moved resources eastward to patrol major evacuation routes. Highway Patrol troopers are prepared to assist motorists and coordinate evacuation traffic. The state’s swift water and search and rescue teams have also been activated.
Cooper also encouraged fishermen to remove fishing gear from the water and said boat owners should secure their boats now.
To stay safe as the storm makes its way toward North Carolina:
• Access reliable weather information
• Know the evacuation route and review emergency plans
• Stock an emergency supply kit with food, water, prescription medicines, charging cords, batteries and other essentials to support your family for several days.
As the storm slowly approached the U.S., officials continue to trigger state of emergencies up the east coast from Florida to Virginia.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Monday to allow the state to mobilize necessary resources.
“Hurricane Dorian is a serious storm, and current predictions indicate that it may affect parts of Virginia,” Northam said in a statement. “I am declaring a state of emergency to ensure that localities and communities have the appropriate level of assistance, and to coordinate the Commonwealth's response to any potential impacts from Hurricane Dorian. I encourage Virginians to take all necessary precautions to make sure they are prepared as well.”
Millions of people living along the coasts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina have also been forced to evacuate.
Information on North Carolina’s Hurricane Dorian preparations is online at www.ncdps.gov/dorian2019, on Twitter @NCEmergency and Facebook.
Visit DriveNC.gov for traffic conditions statewide, and real-time traffic, weather and preparedness information can be accessed via the ReadyNC mobile app for iPhones and Android devices.
Forecasters expect Dorian to move slowly northward away from the islands Tuesday and close to Florida's east coast and eventually the Georgia and South Carolina coasts on Wednesday.
Additional reporting by AccuWeather.
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