09/12/18 — Wayne under hurricane watch

View Archive

Wayne under hurricane watch

By Steve Herring
Published in News on September 12, 2018 5:50 AM

A hurricane watch has been issued for Wayne, Sampson, Robeson and Bladen counties meaning that hurricane-force winds of 74 mph or greater are possible somewhere within the area within the next 48 hours as the state braces for Hurricane Florence.

Counties to the east that had been under a hurricane watch, including Lenoir, Pitt and Duplin are now under a hurricane warning, which means hurricane-force winds are expected within the next 36 hours.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, the Category 4 hurricane was packing 140 mph maximum sustained winds and moving west-northwest at 17 mph about 785 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear.

Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall and slow considerably over the central part of the state.

Residents are being warned to prepare for potential life- and property-threatening winds that could exceed 110 mph.

Strong sustained winds of 30 to 50 mph are expected, spreading from southeastern North Carolina toward the northwest from Thursday afternoon through at least Friday night.

Wind gusts in excess of 60 mph are possible.

However, the main concern is for a prolonged, life-threatening flooding event, according to the National Weather Service in Raleigh.

Hurricane Florence may produce rainfall accumulations of 10 to 15 inches across central North Carolina, especially across the Sandhills and southern Coastal Plain.

The heavy rainfall may produce life-threatening flash flooding and prolonged river flooding.

The hurricane is expected to approach the North Carolina coast Thursday and then slowly drift west and north, impacting central North Carolina into the weekend.

High winds could cause considerable roof damage to sturdy buildings, with some having window, door, and garage door failures and leading to structural damage, the National Weather Service reports.

Mobile homes could be severely damaged or destroyed. Airborne debris could accentuate damages.

Also, a danger exists of large trees being snapped or uprooted along with fences and roadway signs being blown over.

Some roads, bridges, causeways and access routes could become impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places.

Large areas could experience power and communications outages.

"Tri-County Electric (Membership Corporation) staff and crews are keeping an eye on Hurricane Florence and preparing for the possibility of heavy rain and high winds that will affect our area," said Bob Kornegay, manager of marketing and member services. "We urge our members to prepare and be storm ready during and after the storm.

"We are ready to respond should any outages occur. To report an outage, call 919-735-2611 or 1-800-548-4869. Also, you can view outages in your area by clicking on our outage map at https://outage.tcemc.com."

Duke Energy Progress customers can report outages or view an outage map at duke-energy.com/outages.

Weather conditions also are somewhat favorable for isolated to scattered tornadoes from Thursday afternoon into at least Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

The governor's office has activated the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund for donations to support North Carolina's response to Hurricane Florence. To donate, visit www.rebuild.nc.gov.

Download the Ready NC app or follow NC Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter for weather updates and to learn how you can prepare for the storm.

Shelters in some areas were scheduled to begin opening late Tuesday.

For the latest information on shelters, visit ncdps.gov/florence. As shelters open, they will appear in the ReadyNC app.

Also, 2-1-1 operators are available to answer questions about Hurricane Florence resources and connect people with the help they need.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump signed an emergency declaration for North Carolina, which triggers federal aid for the state and allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide aid and resources in anticipation of damage from Hurricane Florence.

The action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts, which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures.