As Hurricane Ian approaches Florida, North Carolina prepares

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – North Carolina leaders and safety officials are preparing for Hurricane Ian.

Our state is getting ready for heavy rainfall and possible flooding on Friday and Saturday.

Gov. Roy Cooper is reminding residents that now is the time to complete their personal preparations.

“While we don’t yet know exactly how this storm will impact our state, it’s clear that this will be a significant rain event for much of North Carolina and now is the time for people to get prepared,” Cooper said. “We are tracking the storm closely and strongly encourage everyone across the state to have an emergency kit and emergency plan in place.”

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety says the State Emergency Response Team will activate on Thursday at its center in Raleigh and plans to move to 24-hour operations on Friday morning.

“We are coordinating with our partners in government and the nonprofit and private sectors to make sure we are ready to support local communities through whatever Ian brings,” State Emergency Management Director Will Ray said.

Residents are urged to stay aware and keep a close eye on the forecast for the next several days. The impacts of Hurricane Ian will become clearer with each passing day.

The DPS says much of North Carolina is forecast to see 2-5 inches late this week and weekend, but 5-7 inches or more will be possible near the coast.

WITN is told that the rainfall totals could lead to localized flash flooding, landslides in the mountains, and rises on main-stem rivers. Gusty winds, isolated tornadoes, minor coastal flooding, and hazardous marine conditions are also possible late this week and weekend as Ian moves through. People should be aware of the possibility of downed trees and power outages.

State officials advise people to follow these tips to make sure they and their families are prepared:

  • Have multiple ways to receive emergency info, including watches and warnings. Make sure emergency alerts are enabled on your cell phone and download a weather app.
  • Have an emergency plan. Know where you would go if you need to evacuate. Make a plan to stay with family, friends or at a hotel. Public shelters should be a last resort.
  • Gather some emergency supplies or refresh your emergency kit. Visit ReadyNC.gov for info on how to build an emergency kit.
  • If you live on the coast, you should know if you live in a coastal evacuation zone. Visit KnowYourZone.nc.gov to see if you are in a pre-determined evacuation zone.  Learn your zone and listen for it if evacuations are ordered by local governments.

Stay with WITN, WITN-TV and the WITN Weather App for live updates on Hurricane Ian.

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