Gov. Cooper Media Briefing – Hurricane Isaias – — July 31, 2020
Gov. Cooper Media Briefing – Hurricane Isaias – —July 31, 2020Posted by Governor Roy Cooper on Friday, July 31, 2020
RALEIGH — As Hurricane Isaias heads toward Florida’s southeastern coast, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has declared a state of emergency to prepare for a possible landfall in his state.
“Based on the current speed and path, the hurricane could reach our coast as early as Monday, making its greatest impact Monday night and maybe even into Tuesday,” Cooper said during a Friday afternoon press conference. “Already there is a threat of dangerous rip currents on our coast, and the danger of tropical-force winds is increasing.”
The National Hurricane Center upgraded the tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane on Friday morning as hurricane conditions were expected in regions of the Bahamas Friday and Saturday.
The most recent forecasts published by the National Weather Service (NWS) on Friday afternoon predicts the “earliest reasonable arrival time of tropical-storm-force winds” to hit the southeastern coastline of North Carolina by 8 a.m. Monday morning.
NWS updates at least every 12 hours, including the most recent on Friday at 6 p.m. You can find the most recent update here.
He said the state’s Emergency Operations Center, already activated for the Covid-19 pandemic, has been activated again for Hurricane Isaias. (The National Hurricane Center has informed meteorologists the pronunciation ‘ees-ah-EE-ahs’ will be the standard.)
He said the state will coordinate shelters for those who need to evacuate and can’t find arrangements to stay with friends, families, or hotels, but asked potential evacuees to make shelters “the last resort” due to social distancing and other guidelines due to the pandemic. If evacuations are ordered in the following days, people will be screened for Covid-19 symptoms and given personal protective equipment like face masks when entering shelters.
If those seeking shelter exhibit Covid-19 symptoms, Cooper said the state will provide other options for them to isolate themselves — the goal being to provide safety during the storm while avoiding an increased spread of the disease.
In the Cape Fear Region, the Town of Kure Beach issued a State of Emergency and Threatened Disaster on Friday, and will further discuss potential plans on Saturday at 10 a.m. More towns in the region are likely to follow suit in coming days if the forecasts continue to predict a landfall in the region.
The Wilmington Fire Department issued a statement Friday afternoon saying it is “spending the days ahead of the anticipated track of the storm preparing equipment, stations, and personnel in the event that they are needed in storm response.”
“We are also working closely with the City and New Hanover County emergency management to stage resources and staff in the appropriate areas. This includes activating the Emergency Operations Center and Joint Command Center if necessary to assist with operations and oversight,” according to the WFD.
Also on Friday afternoon, Brunswick County published a hurricane preparedness guide.