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Latest local updates on Tropical Storm Florence

In an advisory Saturday morning, the National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Florence is forecast to become a “dangerous major hurricane” near the southeast U.S. coast by late next week, and the risk of direct impact continues to increase.

Center forecasters said the track and intensity remain uncertain, but interests along the East Coast, particularly from north Florida through North Carolina, should monitor the storm closely, have hurricane plans in place and follow any advice given by local officials.

The storm is already starting to churn up rough seas along the Outer Banks. The National Weather Service Morehead City office on Saturday morning warned of a high risk of deadly rip currents, with the danger expected to increase as impact from Florence is realized.

“Stay out of the ocean,” NWS said in an advisory.

Dare County Emergency Management said officials are closely monitoring Florence’s track and asked residents, property owners and visitors to keep an eye on the storm’s path over the weekend.

They also urged residents and visitors to get ready.

“While it is too early to determine other potential impacts for our area, now is the time to prepare,” the county said in a news release. “Take your personal planning and preparations seriously – ensure that your emergency kit is properly stocked and that your emergency plan, including possible evacuation, is ready to implement should protective actions become necessary.”

Emergency management was already receiving calls Friday regarding reentry procedures in the case of mandatory evacuation.

Non-resident property owners with reentry permits expiring April 1, 2018 may use those through Dec. 30. Permanent residents use a valid driver’s license with a Dare County address for reentry. A current tax bill or parcel data sheet with matching current government-issued ID will also suffice. To review guidelines, visit www.darenc.com/reentry.

If you or someone you know has special medical needs and may need assistance during an emergency, please call the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services, Social Services Division at 252-475-5500 to register for the Special Medical Needs registry. For more information, visit www.darenc.com/specialmedicalneeds.

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