RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN/AP) — As Tropical Storm Isaias appeared to be headed for North Carolina by Tuesday, officials announced Sunday that President Trump had approved a disaster declaration for parts of the state.
Gov. Roy Cooper also held a news briefing Sunday afternoon in which he talked about being prepared for the storm, which is not forecast to reach hurricane strength before hitting North Carolina.
Cooper said that 120 North Carolina National Guard soldiers were pre-positioned in areas for quick deployment to areas in the eastern part of the state.
He also said that nearly two dozen rescue boats and 100 swift water rescuers had been shifted from the western part of North Carolina to the east ahead of the storm.
Cooper said tropical-storm-force winds are forecast for the eastern third of the state with gusts of 50 to 65 mph for the coastal plain and 30 to 45 mph in central North Carolina.
Cooper says the storm turned more inland over the weekend. He says that increases the threat of heavy rain, tornadoes and flash flooding in eastern North Carolina.
FEMA announced federal disaster assistance was available to the state of North Carolina to supplement state response efforts for Isaias.
The support is available for many counties in eastern North Carolina and limited funding is also available for many areas in the central part of the state including Wake, Orange, Durham, Wayne and Johnston counties.
Isaias was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm Saturday afternoon, but was still expected to bring heavy rain and flooding as it crawled just off Florida’s Atlantic coast.
Upper-level winds took much of the strength out of Isaias, said Stacy Stewart, senior hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The storm also slowed down considerably.
“We were expecting a hurricane to develop and it didn’t,” Stewart said Sunday. “It’s a tale of two storms. If you live on the west side of the storm, you didn’t get much. If you live east of the storm, there’s a lot of nasty weather there.”
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