‘Ian is at our door’: Gov. Cooper holds briefing on hurricane Ian’s impacts

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – Gov. Roy Cooper held a briefing Friday afternoon regarding Hurricane Ian and its expected impacts on North Carolina.

The governor is urging North Carolinians to not drive on roadways unless absolutely necessary, and to be smart and prepared in case of any dangerous situations.

“This storm reminds us how unpredictable hurricanes can be, changing course from the original forecast and again strengthening into a hurricane before making landfall in South Carolina,” Cooper said. “Now we are feeling the impacts in North Carolina.

Cooper evoked Anna Bradshaw, a Department of Transportation worker who was killed while cleaning up debris on the shoulder of US 264 Alternate in Wilson County in August, in telling residents to be safe and aware on roadways.

The State of Emergency that Cooper issued on Wednesday remains in effect.

“State emergency management officials, the National Guard, and local first responders are staged across the state and working to keep people safe.”

The governor said more than 29,000 homes and businesses were without power as of 1:30 p.m. Friday. Utility companies brought in extra crews from out of the state and have thousands of workers ready to repair lines and clear downed trees and debris.

Gov. Roy Cooper is encouraging North Carolinians to be aware of the weather and prepared ahead of Hurricane Ian.

Cooper says it’s time for all state residents to be ready, as the storm can be dangerous and even deadly.

Tornadoes are possible statewide, and people need to be ready for power outages, according to Cooper.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reiterates that people should prepare for power outages and possible flooding from the storm. Cooper declared a State of Emergency Wednesday.

People are cautioned against using gasoline-powered generators or tools, outdoor grills, and camp stoves in enclosed spaces. These devices should be used outside only and at least 20 feet away from windows, doors and air vents to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Excessive rains and flooding can cause water in your private well to become contaminated, which can cause illness if it is consumed or comes into contact with the skin. Flooding can also cause problems with septic tanks leading to contamination with human sewage. DHHS released these steps to properly prepare your well ahead of time.

Leaders also encourage you to take steps to avoid injuries from wind or flooding, including the following:

  • Do not walk in, play in or drive through flooded areas (Turn around. Don’t drown). Flood water contains hidden hazards and may be deeper and faster moving than it appears. Wear shoes at all times.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • If you get a cut or puncture wound, get a tetanus booster shot if you have not had one in the past 5 years.
  • Standing waters are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Use insect repellant, long sleeves, pants, socks, and shoes, if possible. Empty standing water from containers inside and outside the home.

Emergency Management Director William Ray says he is not anticipating widespread power outages and people should not expect widespread evacuations. However, coastal counties should know their zone to know if they live in a predetermined evacuation zone. That can be found here.

People who do not have an emergency preparation kit can find out how to assemble one here.

More information on how to safely prepare for storms and for recovery after storms can be found here.

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