Hurricane Center

Cooper declares State of Emergency, says NC 'is staring down another powerful Hurricane'

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN/WNCT) - "North Carolina is staring down another powerful hurricane," said Gov. Roy Cooper at a news conference Wednesday morning about Hurricane Michael.

Hurricane Michael, a massive Category 4 storm with 145 mph sustained winds, is expected to make landfall near Panama City Beach, Florida, Wednesday afternoon.

After making landfall, Michael will make it's way up through Georgia, South Carolina and then North Carolina.

The storm should still be a tropical storm as it makes it's way through central North Carolina on Thursday. The Triangle could see more than 5 inches of rain in a short period of time, according to forecasters.

Cooper declared a State of Emergency for North Carolina ahead of Hurricane Michael.

The governor said winds will be strong enough to down trees, rip up tarps and cause additional damage.

Many counties are already under a Tropical Storm Warning or Tropical Storm Watch.

The state Emergency Operations Center will activate to level 3 at 1 p.m. Wednesday and will be operating on a 24-hour basis.

State emergency assets have been called in and ready to deploy, according to state officials.

The governor said the North Carolina Department of Transportation will be ready to deal with flooded roads as conditions warrant.

They are still repairing some roads that were damaged during Florence.

Speaking more about Hurricane Florence, Cooper talked about budget recommendations for the legislature to take up next week in response to the storm.

The governor said that preliminary damage estimates for Florence came in at almost $13 billion, which is more than hurricanes Matthew and Floyd combined.

Cooper said next week he will call on legislators to approve a "$750 million down payment" into a recovery fund.

One of the ways to mitigate flooding risk is not to be rebuild, the governor said. He said he wants to make state money available to supplement federal money for buyouts of homes.

Cooper said some of the funding request is meant to come from rainy day fund. He said no tax increase would be required.

The governor said more details on funding sources will be released.

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