New Hanover opens Emergency Operations Center, sets up hotline for storm questions

RAW: Gov. Cooper stresses severity of Hurricane Florence

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - New Hanover County Emergency Management activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at noon Tuesday in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Florence.

"This is not a time to be complacent, seek lodging and accommodations, be in a secure location no later than 8 p.m. Wednesday," said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chairman Woody White during a media briefing Tuesday. "This will be an anxious time along the North Carolina coast.

"For those who want to tempt Mother Nature, I would counsel you against that. This is not a time to party and go out and have fun. It's time to think about your family and your safety."

Stephen Still, Emergency Operations Center director, said county officials anticipate the storm making landfall southeast of Jacksonville.

"We believe as the storm approaches has the potential to sit over our general region for a period of 24 hours," Still said.

A public information hotline will be established to field calls from residents and visitors in New Hanover County. The hotline is available 24 hours a day and may be reached at 910-798-6800, with Spanish speakers available. Officials ask people to only use 911 for true emergencies, and this hotline for all questions.

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