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Storm path steers away from North Carolina

Storm path steers away from North Carolina”

As Hurricane Irma continues to work its way through the Caribbean towards southern Florida, the National Weather Service in Raleigh now forecasts the storm to impact central North Carolina late Sunday or early Monday. That's due to evacuees from states to the south in the direct path of Irma.

NOAA forecast for Hurricane Irma's track as of 11 a.m. Friday.

Cooper declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Irma on Wednesday.The National Hurricane Center is calling Irma "potentially catastrophic".

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Wyatt said the county is preparing much in the same way it would for a severe winter storm, but also anticipating that heavy rains in a short amount of time could cause flooding, especially in low-lying valleys near steep slopes.

"Once the storm starts, law enforcement can not save you", Scott said at a news conference in Sarasota. Wyatt said the Mountain State Fair, which opens this weekend, could be affected by the storm.

Mike Sprayberry, head of the state's emergency management operations, said staff is on site to respond as needed, and the agency is in constant communications with the National Weather Service and county partners. But the latest track of the storm shows it moving westward, which could lessen the impact Irma would have on WNC. At present, hurricane force winds extend 70 miles from the center of Irma and tropical storm force winds extend out 185 miles.

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He said there have been unsafe rip currents on the N.C. coast. "The forecasts are changing every hour it seems and residents need to be aware of where the storm is tracking".

Earlier today, it seemed we would be spared (except, perhaps, the far western tip of the state) and, while the latest track also suggests we may be largely spared, the new model trajectories offer widely divergent possibilities for our state.

Even if it doesn't, though, the effects of the storm are likely to be potent enough to produce flash-flooding, downed trees and isolated power outages throughout the state, mudslides in the western mountains and strong rip currents along the coast.

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Individuals not in an evacuation zone are encouraged by the National Weather Service to prepare an emergency kit that includes a flashlight, batteries, non-perishable foods, water and first-aid supplies. "At this point, it is too early to tell what, if any, effects may occur as a result of Hurricane Irma".



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