Governor declares state of emergency for all of NC
Storm preparation tips
Before the storm
- Listen to the news and local forecasts to give yourself as much notice as possible.
- Secure a back-up generator, such as a portable generator to be operated safely out of doors
- Make sure your generator is in working order by checking the oil and adding fresh fuel.
- Run the generator for a few minutes.
- Create a storm kit of must-have items, such as a battery operated radio, flashlights, batteries, candles, matches, bottled water, blankets, non-perishable food, can opener, first aid kit, list of phone numbers, prescription medications, games to pass the time and a tool kit.
When a storm is on its way
- Listen to the news to keep updated on the storm’s status.
- Obey evacuation directions in dire situations.
- Make sure your cell phone is charged and keep a charger with you.
- Set your refrigerator and freezer controls to the coldest settings to keep food longer should the power go out.
- Fill your car’s gas tank just in case you need to drive to safety.
- Take out a reasonable amount of cash in case ATMs are out of order.
- Tie down any large objects outdoors that may get thrown during a storm (e.g. patio furniture, toys) and place valuables inside in a safe place off the floor.
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes by filling your bathtub, sinks and other large containers with water.
When a storm is in progress
- Stay indoors and away from windows or glass doors.
- Take refuge in a small interior room or closet or below ground if possible.
- Listen to the news for updates and directions on how to proceed.
By Josh Bergeron and Amanda Raymond
Gov. Pat McCrory this morning declared a state of emergency for all 100 North Carolina counties in preparation for a series of coming storms and a hurricane.
During a news conference today, McCrory said weather systems, independent of Hurricane Joaquin, could dump enough rain to result in flooding. If the hurricane — currently situated near the Bahamas as a category three storm — makes landfall in North Carolina, McCrory said rainfall totals would increase. McCrory said the hurricane could dump 5 to 7 inches of rain to most of North Carolina. It could bring up to 10 inches to the mountains.
The hurricane is predicted to brush the North Carolina coast late Sunday or early Monday.
“We’re hoping for the best, but hope is not preparation nor is it a plan,” McCrory said. “I’ve ordered all state agencies to begin preparation for the severe weather, particularly flooding, that is going to hit just about every corner of the state during the next few days.”
During the news conference, McCrory announced the state of emergency, which waives hour and weight restrictions for truck drivers responding to the storm. The waiver will help farmers and electric utility crews working to restore power, according to a news release. Search and rescue teams as well as National Guard soldiers, Highway Patrol troopers and Department of Transportation crews are also preparing for the weather, according to a news release.
Public Safety Secretary Frank Perry said officials are preparing for flooding in areas all across North Carolina.
“Regardless of the impacts of Hurricane Joaquin, North Carolina has the potential for life-threatening flooding,” Perry said. “We want everyone to remember to ‘Turn around, don’t drown.’”
Rowan County is already under a flash flood watch, which began at 9:35 a.m.
Rowan County Emergency Services Director Frank Thomason said local officials have been continually monitoring the weather. Thomason said municipalities in Rowan, the Department of Transportation and first responders are aware of the weather conditions.
“Each one of them are making their necessary checks and preparations to make sure that their agencies are able to respond in whatever manner necessary,” Thomason said.
He said the American Red Cross would open emergency shelters if necessary.
The projected weather has affected some events across the region. West Rowan High and Carson High schools will play at 7:30 p.m. tonight. Davie County will play Reagan at 7 p.m. tonight.
The finale for “Tickle the Ivories,” the pianos placed downtown for people to play, has been moved from this Friday to next Friday, Oct. 9. Downtown Salisbury’s zombie walk that scheduled for Saturday will now occur Nov. 7.
The ReadyRowan scavenger hunt scheduled for Friday is still scheduled to occur.
Autumn Jubilee at Dan Nicholas Park is still planned to continue as scheduled.
Thomason said Rowan residents should clear out gutters and storm drains, ensuring they are fully functional. McCrory has asked citizens to update and replenish emergency kits with bottled water, non-perishable food, a weather radio, copies of important documents, flashlights, batteries and any supplies and medications for pets.
For more local emergency preparedness information, visit readyrowan.org
Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246