Governor Cooper Declares State of Emergency Ahead of Severe Weather
Emergency Management Officials Urge Caution During Heavy Rainfall Tonight into Tomorrow
RALEIGH, NC (January 8, 2024) ⇒ Governor Roy Cooper signed an Executive Order today declaring a State of Emergency ahead of severe weather expected across the state. The Order waives truck weight, size and hours of service restrictions so that vehicles carrying essential supplies such as food, medicine or fuel or transporting livestock and crops can get their jobs done quickly.
The Governor and NC Emergency Management officials are urging North Carolinians to be safe and cautious during heavy rainfall and winds, and to expect flooding and power outages as a strong weather system will impact the state Monday evening and Tuesday. Damaging winds and saturated soils might also lead to blown down trees and power lines, causing possible scattered to widespread power outages.
“This storm system has the potential to bring high winds and other dangerous storm conditions to North Carolina, and people should be aware and take precautions,” Governor Cooper said. “Be sure your emergency kits are up to date and pay attention to the weather in your area, especially any weather alerts such as flash flood warnings.”
“North Carolina Emergency Management is in communication with our local partners, and we have increased the readiness level of the State Emergency Response Team to provide support if events exceed local capabilities,” said Will Ray, North Carolina Emergency Management Director. “We are also working with our utility and infrastructure partners to address any needs they may have as the situation develops.”
Rainfall will begin tonight in the state’s southern mountains and will spread northeastward, increasing in intensity Tuesday morning. Isolated to scattered flash floods will be possible across the entire state Tuesday, with the potential for numerous flash floods across the southern mountains. With heavy rainfall of up to 6 inches expected in some areas across the southern mountains, landslides are possible. A period of sleet and freezing rain is expected overnight in some mountain areas before transitioning to rain around daybreak Tuesday morning. Widespread heavy rainfall will increase the potential for riverine flooding and likely continue through the end of the week across eastern North Carolina. Coastal Flood Watches, Warnings, and Advisories have been issued for portions of the coast from midday Tuesday through Wednesday afternoon.
The severe weather threat has increased with numerous severe storms capable of producing damaging wind gusts and tornadoes possible Tuesday afternoon through Tuesday night, especially in the eastern half of the state. A Wind Advisory is also in effect for much of the state Monday night through Tuesday night where wind gusts of 40-55 mph will be possible. A High Wind Watch or Warning is in effect from Monday night through Tuesday night for areas along the Tennessee border, higher elevations across the mountains, and coastal areas where there could be wind gusts up to 75 mph.
Residents are advised to stay aware and keep a watch on the forecast. State officials advise these tips to make sure your family is personally prepared:
• Have multiple ways to receive emergency info, including watches and warnings. Make sure emergency alerts are enabled on your cell phone and download a weather app.
• Have an emergency plan. Know where you would go if you need to evacuate. Make a plan to stay with family, friends or at a hotel. Public shelters should be a last resort.
• Gather some emergency supplies or refresh your emergency kit. Visit ReadyNC.gov for info on how to build an emergency kit.
• Never drive through flooded roadways or around barricades.
• Make sure you know where to seek shelter if a tornado warning is issued for your area.
• Ensure that you have multiple ways to receive warnings, especially with the potential for severe storms to be moving through during nighttime hours.
• Check to see if your community offers emergency alert services for its residents.
• Avoid unnecessary travel.
The Council of State unanimously concurred with the Emergency Declaration. View that record here.
Read the State of Emergency.