Hurricane Matthew remains a Category 3 hurricane as it hits the Florida Atlantic coast. The storm is continuing to move northward, forcing President Barack Obama to declare a state of emergency in North Carolina.
The declaration will provide federal assistance to the following counties:
Alamance, Anson, Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Caswell, Chatham, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Davidson, Davie, Duplin, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Gates, Granville, Greene, Guilford, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Martin, Montgomery, Moore, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Orange, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Person, Pitt, Randolph, Richmond, Robeson, Rockingham, Sampson, Scotland, Stokes, Surry, Tyrrell, Vance, Wake, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wilson, and Yadkin
The White House said that the declaration mobilizes FEMA, with Elizabeth Turner named the Federal Coordinating Officer for recovery efforts in the state.
Earlier on Friday, Governor Pat McCrory warned of the possible flooding and power outages Matthew will bring to the southeast corner of the state, along the coast. The governor has already declared a state of emergency in all 100 counties. The state is expected to see between five and 10 inches of rain, with sustained winds of 40-55 mph.
Weather.com notes that Hyde County already issued a mandatory evacuation of Ocracoke Island for visitors and all residents. The University of North Carolina-Wilmington also ordered students to evacuate by noon Thursday.
“Today I am encouraging local officials to make decisions on evacuation very quickly and am asking all citizens and visitors to follow those directions and take this storm seriously,” McCrory said on Friday.
For more information on evacuation orders in North Carolina, click here:
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