Gov. Cooper asks North Carolinians to be prepared for Irma

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – There are still plenty of unknowns with Hurricane Irma such as where it is going to hit North Carolina and when.

Gov. Roy Cooper is asking North Carolinians to be prepared for the storm and he said the state is preparing, as well.

The state will suspend all lane closures for construction projects starting at 7:00 Friday night.

There already is a state of emergency in effect.

“It allows us to spend certain funds to get ready to go,” said Cooper. “It activates personnel. It allows us to waive certain requirements.”

The state is also bringing in 310 National Guard servicemembers.

Some of them will be in tactical vehicles which can go through flood waters to rescue people or bring supplies.

“We study history,” said Capt. Matthew Boyle, North Carolina National Guard. “We know what’s happened in the past. We have folks that have been here for 20, 30 years that understand hurricanes. We have plans for if Irma impacts the west. We have plans for if Irma impacts the Piedmont and certainly plans for if Irma impacts the eastern part of North Carolina.”

Cooper said there is training in the coming days for more Red Cross volunteers.

He encouraged North Carolinians, in all 100 counties, to know what they will do when the storm hits.

“Know where you would evacuate, know your route,” said Cooper. “Update your emergency supply kit.”

There are three staging areas that are being set up for the storm in Kinston, Greensboro and Asheville.

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