Governor Pat McCrory has declared a State of Emergency for all 100 counties in order to provide the necessary assistance to eastern North Carolina and surrounding states as Hurricane Matthew approaches.
“This declaration will allow us to use further resources throughout the state to assist with the storm response here at home and to our neighboring states to the south,” said Governor McCrory. “It will also allow us to better support evacuees heading further inland from impacted areas, including the North Carolina coast.” The governor previously declared a state of emergency on Monday for 66 eastern and central counties.
Earlier today, Governor McCrory received the latest weather briefing and toured the Kinston Emergency Operation Center. While at the Kinston Center, Governor McCrory received a call from President Barack Obama for an update on storm preparations and the coordination of state and federal assets. The governor has also offered assistance to South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.
A primary concern of approaching Hurricane Matthew is heavy rainfall that may cause flooding in already-saturated areas, and Governor McCrory is encouraging North Carolinians to be aware of the dangers of flooding and be prepared. Rainfall of up to 10-12 inches is expected in Brunswick and surrounding counties. Additionally, new rainfall totals project 5-6 inches of rain for counties in the northeast. Governor McCrory warned of possible power outages in coastal counties. Winds of up to 60-70 miles per hour are possible in the southeastern portions of the state.
The governor explained that local county officials determine evacuation schedules, however the state is standing by ready to assist. Surf City and Brunswick County are currently under a voluntary evacuation, while Ocracoke Island is under a mandatory evacuation for visitors.
Heavy rains can cause dams to overflow and streams and rivers to swell above flood stage levels, causing great damage and loss of life. Most tropical, storm-related deaths are caused by drowning in freshwater in non-coastal counties. People should be prepared before a flood occurs to know what action to take.
For more information on what to do before, during and after a storm, visit ReadyNC.org. To view Governor McCrory’s state of emergency declaration, click here.