WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Gov. Roy Cooper discussed the state’s preparations for Isaias during a news conference Monday.
Here are Cooper’s opening remarks from the news conference:
“As this storm closes in, we expect it to increase in intensity. There’s a potential for dangerous hurricane force winds as it makes its way towards landfall later tonight. That means we must be on high alert.
“This storm will bring dangerous weather conditions to much of our state overnight. Heavy rains, flash floods and storm surge can quickly inundate low-lying areas. Stay inside during the heavy winds and watch for tornadoes.
“Hurricane warnings have been issued in three North Carolina counties – Pender, Brunswick and New Hanover. Tropical storm warnings and watches have been issued for much of eastern and central North Carolina. Pay attention to these warnings, and secure your home and belongings.
“Have a way to stay informed since this storm will sweep through at night. The category of a storm can be misleading. Whether it’s a tropical storm or hurricane, you should take this storm seriously and make sure your family is ready – that means taking care of your pets too.
“This storm threatens our coastline with storm surge and damaging winds, but the inland areas are also at risk. Be prepared for a lot of rain – as much as 7 inches in some places. The rain combined with high winds can lead to flooding, downed trees and downed power lines.
“Make sure you’re ready with supplies and flashlights in case you lose power. And remember – never drive through flooded roads. As little as 18 inches can sweep a car away. We’ve lost too many lives after these storms because of people trying to drive through water.
“We have deployed water rescue, transportation and emergency workers to the eastern part of the state. I’ve talked with U.S. Coast Guard leadership and they are standing by to help along with our North Carolina National Guard.
“Health care workers are preparing to assist at a medical shelter if it’s needed. Swift water rescue teams, high water vehicles and helicopters are standing by and have been strategically positioned. State and local officials continue to be on the ready.
“Listen to local officials and follow evacuation orders when they’re issued. If you are told to evacuate, the most important thing is to get out of the danger zone. First, plan to stay with friends or family. If that doesn’t work, a hotel is the next option if you can afford it.
“Shelters will be available for those who need them. Visit your county government website or call 211 for instructions on sheltering options.
“Shelters will screen people for coronavirus symptoms. If someone has COVID-19 or shows symptoms, they will be directed to a sheltering option for isolation or medical attention. Shelters will have PPE and will honor social distancing.
“North Carolinians have had to dig deep in recent months to tap into our strength and resilience during the pandemic. That hasn’t been easy. But with this storm on the way, we have to dig a little deeper. Let’s keep each other safe from the wind & water as well as from the virus.
“As this storm arrives in just a few hours, remember the power that comes from helping one another. We’re all better off when we work together.”