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Gov. Perdue declares state of emergency

Gov. Bev Perdue late Wednesday declared a state of emergency for counties east of Interstate 95 in North Carolina. This morning, the National Weather Service issued a Hurricane Watch for the North Carolina coast from Surf City to the Virginia border. A tropical storm watch is in effect from Surf City to Edisto beach in South Carolina.
Perdue has also asked the president to declare a pre-landfall emergency declaration to provide federal assistance for response efforts.
“Hurricane Irene poses a significant threat to our state,” Perdue said, “and we need to take appropriate action to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors, along with property and infrastructure along our coast.”
The governor’s proclamation authorizes officials to respond more effectively to the emergency by authorizing additional state government resources to assist county and municipal governments. Under the proclamation, the governor has expanded powers to address all aspects of the emergency, including the authority to use state resources needed to respond to the situation
The latest hurricane center advisory projects Hurricane Irene will make landfall late Saturday afternoon near Ocracoke. Tropical storm force winds and rain are projected to begin late Friday and could increase to hurricane force winds later Saturday. Rainfall amounts will be greatest east of I-95, particularly near the coast where six inches of rain or more are possible. Also, storm surge of several feet is possible along the entire coast. The central parts of the state may see localized rainfall amounts of more than two inches. Areas east of I-95 have the potential for the worst wind, but gusts of 40 miles per hour are possible along the central parts of the state as the outer bands move through.
Evacuations began yesterday for visitors to Ocracoke Island. Beginning this morning, residents of all of Hyde County and visitors to Dare County will be evacuated.
For updates throughout the storm, follow North Carolina Emergency Management on Twitter @NCEmergency. Facebook at www.facebook.com/NCEmergencyManagement and on the Crime Control and Public Safety web site at http://www.nccrimecontrol.org.

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