For the second time in two weeks, Governor Pat McCrory declared a State of Emergency for portions of eastern and central North Carolina in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew.
“While we do not yet know how Hurricane Matthew will impact North Carolina, we do know that we can expect some form of impacts on our state,” said Governor McCrory. “Already, we’ve seen substantial flooding in eastern and central parts of the state from recent rain events, and many areas are already saturated. We are taking this storm seriously, and I encourage residents and visitors do the same.”
Governor McCrory this afternoon declared a State of Emergency for 66 counties to facilitate the movement of any resources that may be needed to respond to the storm. It also waives truck weight, size and hours of service restrictions so that farmers can quickly harvest their crops before the storm hits.
Governor McCrory addressed the state’s preparations for Hurricane Matthew earlier today. A link to video of the governor’s comments can be found here.
While much uncertainty still exists about Hurricane Matthew’s storm track, meteorologists have cautioned that the southeastern areas of the state could see gusty winds and rain bands as early as Friday morning. Current forecasts are predicting rainfall amounts of three to five inches across much of the east with tropical storm force winds between 39 and 73 miles per hour extending nearly 200 miles from the center. With grounds already saturated from recent heavy rains, emergency officials are preparing for downed trees and power outages.
“North Carolina has one of the country’s best response teams,” Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry said. “It has been tested repeatedly over the past few weeks, but our colleagues are ready to respond as called. Meanwhile, we urge residents and visitors to recheck your emergency plans, restock your emergency kits, and pay close attention in the coming days to the weather forecast and any instructions from local officials. Also, be sure to keep in touch with your family, friends and neighbors to let them know you’re safe.”
The state’s Emergency Management team last Thursday began coordinating storm preparations with South Carolina, Virginia and officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Today a FEMA incident management team arrived to expedite any federal assets that may be needed to respond to the storm.
“Hurricane Matthew is a powerful and large hurricane that has the potential to create devastating impacts even if it hits North Carolina with a glancing blow,” said North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “Our federal, state and local partners are coordinating to ensure our state is adequately prepared for Matthew’s impacts and we urge North Carolinians to prepare at home, too.”