Gov. Cooper Urges NC Residents To Prepare For Potential Hurricane

Source WBRC

Source WBRC

In McDowell County, Emergency Services Director William Kehler said that they are looking at previous storm experience to prepare with Irma's eventual track into Western N.C. Maximum sustained winds remain near 180 miles per hour (285 km/h) with higher gusts, with Irma maintaining its Category 5 strength. The Florida Keys are bracing for Irma's potential impact as a Category 4 or 5 storm later this weekend.

While it's too early to tell what impacts Hurricane Irma may have on North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper is encouraging North Carolina residents and visitors to update their emergency plans and kits and stay tuned to local media.

No matter what happens over the next couple of days, most computer models show the center of Irma tracking over the western part of North Carolina, although its effects would be significant throughout the state.

"There is a lot we still don't know about this storm, but we do know that North Carolina can expect to feel some sort of effects as soon as early next week, and now is the time to get prepared", Cooper said.

Cooper on Wednesday declared a state of emergency.

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Fearsome Hurricane Irma cut a path of devastation across the northern Caribbean, leaving at least 10 dead and thousands homeless after destroying buildings and uprooting trees on a track Thursday that could lead to a catastrophic strike on Florida.

There was little confidence in predictions of Irma's path on Thursday. However, he said AEMC is preparing itself to respond to outages, including by bringing in more supplies and making sure all its trucks are fueled up.

Visit www.weather.gov/mhx for weather forecast information covering Eastern NC, and visit the National Hurricane Center at www.nhc.noaa.gov for information on the tropics.

Crews working on North Carolina's beach nourishment projects are reviewing contingency plans in case Hurricane Irma heads for the coast.

Stanly County's emergency officials have been steadily preparing for the worst. "We continue to communicate with our partner agencies and pass along the latest briefings from the National Weather Service", said Kehler.

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Emergency management officials don't believe North Carolina will suffer from prolonged flooding like it experienced past year with Hurricane Matthew.

In a less likely case, Irma could turn into the southern tip of Florida and track northward through that state, weakening before it reaches the Carolinas.

"With the rain could come flash flooding in some areas and possible landslides in the mountains".

Shawn Taylor of the Statesville Record & Landmark and Dustin Chandler of The McDowell News compiled the information for this story.

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