Cooper urges North Carolinians to finalize preparations before Idalia’s impacts are felt

Published 4:28 pm Wednesday, August 30, 2023

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Governor Roy Cooper is urging North Carolinians to finish final storm preparations and stay alert and aware as Idalia passes though the state Wednesday night and Thursday.

“Over the past 24 hours, we’ve seen Hurricane Idalia plow through the Southeast, leaving destruction behind,” said Cooper on Wednesday afternoon. “Even though North Carolina isn’t its first stop, this storm’s heavy rains can do damage. I encourage people to listen to local officials and make sure you have a plan if you are in an area with a flood risk.”

According to a news release from the governor’s office, heavy rainfall and localized flooding are the greatest threats as Idalia approaches the southeastern corner of the state. Flash flooding is likely across eastern North Carolina and into the Piedmont with a Flood Watch in effect generally south and east of the I-85 corridor.

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The heaviest rainfall of 5-8 inches with localized totals up to 10 inches is expected across southern portions of the I-95 corridor northeastward into central portions of the coast Wednesday evening into early Thursday. Tropical Storm warnings are in effect for the entire coast, with a Storm Surge Watch in affect for north Beaufort Inlet to Ocracoke Inlet, as well as the Pamlico and Neuse Rivers. A Tornado Watch is in effect for our southeastern counties with the threat for tornadoes increasing during the afternoon hours.

The state has been preparing for Idalia for several days. Cooper declared a State of Emergency Tuesday to activate the state’s emergency operations plan, waive transportation rules, help the transport of fuel and critical supplies and services, help first responders and assist the agriculture industry prepare and protect consumers from price gouging.

The governor also authorized the activation of more than 120 National Guard personnel that have moved into position today and are staged and ready to respond quickly wherever needed from armories in Kinston, Elizabethtown and Rockingham, noted the release.

Several swiftwater rescue teams are also activated and ready to deploy quickly from Rockingham and Elizabethtown to supplement local rescue resources.

State Emergency Management officials, the National Guard, U.S. Coast Guard, State Highway Patrol troopers, state transportation, local first responders are also staged across the state and working to keep people safe.

North Carolina Emergency Management officials offer these tips for being prepared and remaining safe during the storm:

  • Pay close attention to the local weather forecast and be aware of conditions expected in the local area.
  • Have a way to receive weather watches and warnings, like a weather app on cell phones.
  • Follow directions from local emergency officials.
  • Do not drive on flooded roads – turn around, don’t drown.
  • Be prepared for the possibility of power outages. Use battery powered light sources; avoid candles.
  • If the power goes out, never use generators or barbecue grills in homes or garages – they create deadly carbon monoxide fumes that can kill.
  • Stay away from any downed power lines and report them to the power company.
  • Visit for instructions on how to prepare and assemble a family emergency kit.
  • Visit for information on road closings from NC Department of Transportation.