RALEIGH– State agencies and Eastern North Carolina counties are preparing for Hurricane Sandy’s expected impacts to North Carolina over the next few days.
“We are ready for whatever impacts Hurricane Sandy brings to North Carolina,” said Doug Hoell, state emergency management director. “While landfall is not expected in North Carolina, this is a very large storm and its effects will be felt for several days along our coastal and sound counties. Residents in eastern North Carolina should monitor the weather closely and get their emergency supplies kits ready.”
State emergency management officials have been monitoring the storm for several days and activated the Emergency Operations Center this morning. The State Emergency Response Team is composed of all involved state agencies, private sector and volunteer organizations, such as: NCDOT, DENR, Agriculture, Commerce, utility companies, Red Cross, Salvation Army and Baptist Men. In addition, emergency management officials have taken the following steps:
·Established coordination with the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service to discuss Sandy’s potential impacts.
·Prepositioned 75 North Carolina National Guard soldiers to respond to the storm if needed.
·Brought in a team of Federal Emergency Management Agency employees to provide immediate federal support to the state if warranted.
·Checked and updated equipment and supplies at the emergency management warehouse (water, MREs, cots, blankets, generators.)
·Activated the NCEM Regional Coordination Center in Kinston. The RCC coordinates with the counties to see what they need.
Gov. Perdue declared a State of Emergency for 40 counties in eastern North Carolina stretching from Interstate 95 to the coast. The declarationauthorizes officials to respond more effectively to the emergency by authorizing additional state government resources to assist county and municipal governments.
The National Weather Service this morning issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the North Carolina coast. Steady winds of 30 to 40 miles per hour with gusts up to 60 mph are expected to begin this afternoon and last through Monday in coastal counties, while inland counties can expect winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour with gusts up to 35 mph. Rainfall amounts will be greatest east of U.S. 17, where 4 to 7 inches of rain or more are possible. Areas further inland can expect 3 to 5 inches with more in spots. Flooding is a concern for residents along the coast and sound. Along the ocean, residents should be prepared for storm surge of 1 to 5 feet above ground level with heaviest amounts expected north of Cape Hatteras. On the sound side, residents should expect flooding of 3 to 5 feet above ground level with the highest amounts anticipated from Buxton through Ocracoke.