RALEIGH: As Hurricane Dorian begins to hit North Carolina with areas of destructive tornadoes, heavy rains, damaging winds and power outages, Gov. Roy Cooper this afternoon urged North Carolinians should shelter in place and stay off the roads until the storm passes.
“If your area is feeling the impacts of Dorian, please stay home and safe. Don’t drive through standing or moving water,” said Governor Cooper. “We are feeling the storm’s force, but it has only started. We have a long night ahead of us. “
The governor urged residents to follow local emergency directives, including curfew and evacuation orders, and to stay tuned to local weather alerts for tornado and flood warnings.
Tornadoes, storm surge and flash flooding continue to be a dangerous threat, particularly east of Interstate 95. Major river flooding is forecast at the Northeast Cape Fear near Burgaw.
Flash floods are a significant concern across much of eastern North Carolina. Part of New Hanover county has already reported 9 inches of rain in a short amount of time on Thursday that led to 17 road closures due to downed trees and flooding.
Flash floods happen rapidly, are not easy to predict and can be deadly. To follow flood conditions in North Carolina, sign up for notices on the Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network at fiman.nc.gov.
Eight tornadoes have been reported from Wayne to New Hanover County. No injuries or fatalities were reported so far though the tornadoes caused structure damage.
At least 50 counties declared states of emergency and more than a dozen counties or towns instituted mandatory curfews for tonight. By Thursday afternoon 68 emergency shelters opened and were housing more than 2,200 evacuees.
NC 2-1-1 is available to help residents find food, housing, disaster services and health care. The referral hotline is free, confidential and multilingual operators are ready to assist. Help is also available by texting NCDorian to 898211 to talk via text with a 2-1-1 operator.
As Hurricane Dorian moves up the coast, here are some important safety tips:
Stay alert and informed. Use a radio or another device for warnings about wind, tornadoes, rising water or orders to turn off gas, water, and power.
Never drive on roads covered by water. It only takes a few inches of water to wash away a car. If you come across a road covered in water, turn around. Don’t drown.
Stay indoors. Stay away from windows. Close storm shutters. Stay in a secure space, like a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level of your home.
Do not use generators indoors
The latest storm information may be found on the state’s Hurricane Dorian website (https://www.ncdps.gov/dorian2019), on Twitter @NCEmergency and Facebook. Visit DriveNC.gov for traffic conditions statewide. Real-time traffic, weather and preparedness information is also available via the ReadyNC mobile app, available free for iPhones and Android devices.
If you wish to donate your time or financial assistance, please go to NC.Gov/donate.