North Carolina’s governor declared a State of Emergency on Friday evening as Hurricane Florence continues to churn in the Atlantic Ocean.
The storm is still days from landfall but Gov. Roy Cooper declared the State of Emergency and waived transportation rules to help farmers harvest and transport their crops more quickly, according to a news release Friday night.
“While it’s still too early to know the storm’s path, we know we have to be prepared,” Cooper said in a news release. “During harvest, time is of the essence. Action today can avoid losses due to Florence.”
The National Hurricane Center’s forecast path for Florence takes the storm to the west, to the south of Bermuda by early next week.
Cooper says it’s “too early” to know where the storm will go, but he says residents should use the weekend to prepare for the possibility of a natural disaster.
Some forecast models have shown Florence slamming into land by late next week, while others indicated the storm would curve away from shore.
Cooper’s Executive Order 52 temporarily waives a cap on hours of service restrictions for trucks traveling in and through the state. The order also removes a cap on the size and weight restrictions for trucks carrying crops and livestock.
Earlier Friday, “Gov. Cooper said state emergency management officials are working with local and federal counterparts to prepare North Carolina for possible impacts from Florence,” officials said.
The National Hurricane Center said Florence’s maximum sustained winds Friday evening were estimated to be 65 mph. The storm was centered about 905 miles east-southeast of Bermuda and moving west at 8 mph.