North Carolina coast prepares for Hurricane Maria's arrival

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Ocracoke Island to evacuate visitors tomorrow

As Hurricane Maria approaches the North Carolina coast, Governor Roy Cooper urged residents in coastal areas to complete their personal and home preparedness and to be alert to any changes in Maria’s track. The storm’s forecast track shifted to the west over the weekend, meaning more significant impacts to North Carolina are expected.

Heavy ocean surf will be very dangerous all week. Deadly rip currents will be present and some storm surge flooding is possible,” said Gov. Cooper.  “Visitors to our beaches should stay out of the water during these dangerous conditions and wait until Maria passes.  Coastal residents should make sure they are ready and their homes are prepared.”

The State Emergency Operations Center will activate Monday morning to monitor the storm and will be ready to respond if needed. “This activation will include Emergency Management staff who will communicate with the counties and our State Emergency Response Team partners in order to allow us to provide any needed resources,” said NC Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry.

Sunday evening, the National Weather Service issued Tropical Storm Watch from Surf City northwards to the North Carolina-Virginia border as well as Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds; and a Storm Surge Watch for 2 to 4 feet above ground level from Cape Lookout to Duck, including the soundside of the Outer Banks islands.  Maria’s effects will begin to be felt Monday and will last through the week, with Tropical Storm force winds expected to arrive Tuesday.

Officials in Hyde County issued a mandatory evacuation order for visitors on Ocracoke Island, beginning at 5 a.m. Monday.

Maria is currently a category 3 storm, with winds of 105 miles an hour. Maria’s eye is forecast to remain about 100 miles off the North Carolina coast, but the storm’s effects will be felt far from the eye.

Download the Ready NC app or visit ReadyNC.org to follow weather updates and learn about how you can prepare for the storm.

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