As Hurricane Florence approaches North Carolina, shelters statewide are opening to take in people displaced by evacuations. Prisons and jails in vulnerable areas are evacuating, and long-term care facilities have been urged to work with local emergency management officials to ensure resident and patient safety. The state has announced closures of state parks, museums and other attractions. Gov. Roy Cooper has also authorized providing more North Carolina National Guard soldiers for Hurricane Florence response.
“Everyone in North Carolina needs to take this vicious, life-threatening storm seriously,” Cooper said. “Shelters are opening tonight and will be available to keep you and your family safe out of Hurricane Florence’s path.”
Eastern North Carolina could start feeling effects late Wednesday. Landfall is expected on the coast late Thursday or early Friday, where catastrophic impacts are possible due to extreme storm surge, rainfall and wind. Residents in central North Carolina should be prepared to feel the impact of the storm from Thursday night through at least Monday due to threat of flooding and widespread and prolonged power outages. Western North Carolina residents should not let their guard down as heavy rain could move into western parts of the state. Cooper is urging the entire state to prepare for impacts from Florence, and people ordered to evacuate should get out now.
Earlier today, Cooper ordered a state evacuation order applying to barrier islands along the entire coast, from the Virginia line to the South Carolina line. Local evacuation orders are in place for many additional areas.
Shelters began to open Tuesday afternoon for people displaced by the storm. Knightdale High School in Wake County is now open and is pet friendly. Shelters are expected to open in New Hanover, Moore, Johnston and Sampson Counties later tonight and Wednesday, with additional shelters expected. Shelters locations are listed at ncdps.gov/florence and once open will be listed on the Ready NC app.
2-1-1 Call Line Open 24/7 for People in Need of Help
The statewide information line can provide callers with nearby shelter, housing and other storm-related details. Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162. The information line is staffed 24/7 to connect North Carolinians to storm resources.
More National Guard Troops Authorized for Hurricane Response
This evening the governor authorized providing more North Carolina National Guard soldiers for Hurricane Florence response. The 2400 additional soldiers will report for duty by 6 PM Wednesday and come in addition to 200 already activated. Their orders will be to preserve life and safety, route clearance of roads, communications support of friendly forces, and sustainment and logistics support. They will be staging at various locations.
State Prison Evacuations
The Department of Public Safety’s Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice initiated evacuations of offenders and staff from facilities threatened by Hurricane Florence yesterday.
Several hundred offenders are being moved from facilities in the storm’s projected path to larger facilities within the state prison system. Offenders will be moved back to the affected facilities once it is safe for operations to continue.