RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — There hasn’t been a call for evacuations in North Carolina yet, but Gov. Roy Cooper is telling people to prepare.
In fact, the state’s Emergency Operations Center will begin round-the-clock monitoring of the storm Monday morning.
As the forecast has shifted over the past week, Cooper really wants to make sure that people realize how dangerous this storm could be here.
“This thing could plow right through North Carolina. It could be a very dangerous storm,” Cooper said Sunday. “Whatever comes, we will be ready.”
Search and rescue crews statewide have been put on standby ahead of Dorian, preparing to surge into the areas of need at a moment’s notice.
State leaders are getting constant updates from the National Hurricane Center, and both Cooper and State Emergency Manager Mike Sprayberry say that now is the time to stock up on batteries, water, and to get inland to safety.
“We’ve been coordinating with our counties and FEMA to make sure that folks that are currently in travel trailers and mobile home units are being looked out for,” said Sprayberry. “We want everybody to know what’s coming. We expect to start feeling impacts here as early as Wednesday night.”
FEMA and Department of Defense liasons are on the way to Raleigh to help coordinate the disaster response.
“My message today is this: North Carolina has to take this seriously. Be ready,” Cooper said Sunday.
He’s urging people to be ready for potential power outages and to prepare emergency packs.
Cooper said he’s signed two waivers. One is for relief/supply vehicles to be able to move out of state and the second is for farmers to be able to move crops out in heavier loads and protect livestock before the storm arrives.
In an update at 5 a.m. Monday, the National Hurricane Center measured sustained winds at 165 mph, with gusts still at 200 mph — down from the earlier 225 mph. Dorian is moving west at only 1 mph as it slowly pummels the Bahamas with high winds and storm surge.
Storm surge in the Bahamas is 18 to 23 feet above normal tide levels with higher destructive waves — reportedly Grand Bahama International Airport is under 5 feet of water.
Dorian will turn to the northwest late today and early Tuesday, then accelerate as it moves along the southeastern coast of the U.S. The 5 a.m. Monday forecast track continues to include much of North Carolina in the “cone of uncertainty,” with a possible landfall brush with the Outer Banks Thursday night.
The Emergency Operations Center opened at 7 a.m. Monday.
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