Islanders Urged to Prepare for Possible Storm Conditions
By JOY CRIST
it is still too early to determine what, if any, direct impacts the
North Carolina coast could see from Irma, Hatteras and Ocracoke
Islanders are urged to make their preparations now, and watch for
potentially dangerous surf and rip current conditions.
period swells from Irma are expected to lead to hazardous surf and
strong rip currents beginning on Thursday, which will affect the
eastern North Carolina beaches through early next week.
residents should also ensure they have their hurricane plans in place.
“Track confidence will grow over the next few days,” said Director of
Dare County Emergency Management Drew Pearson in an emailed statement,
“and you don't want to be looking back wishing you had reviewed your
plan and given thought to what you will need to have on hand should we
end up facing direct impacts from a storm of unprecedented magnitude.”
homeowners, and visitors who have questions about re-entry information
should an evacuation occur due to Irma or another future storm can
obtain information on the Dare County’s website at
reentry permit is not required for permanent residents, provided they
have a valid NC driver’s license with a local address or a current Dare
County property tax bill.
Roy Cooper also declared a state of emergency for North Carolina which
went into effect on 8 a.m. Thursday as a cautionary step ahead of
Irma’s arrival. “To prepare for Hurricane Irma, I am declaring a state
of emergency,” Cooper said. “The state is doing what we want the people
of North Carolina to do, and that is prepare for Hurricane Irma.”
Irma is expected to track towards southern Florida over the weekend,
then along the East Coast of Florida into Monday. As of 8 a.m., the eye
of Irma was moving west-northwestward off the coast of Hispaniola, and
was heading towards the Turk and Caicos Islands. Maximum sustained
winds remain near 180 mph (285 km/h) with higher gusts, with Irma
maintaining its Category 5 strength. Some fluctuations in
intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast
to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple
winds extend outward up to 50 miles (85 km) from the center and
tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km) from
Visit www.weather.gov/mhx for weather forecast information covering Eastern NC, and visit the National Hurricane Center at www.nhc.noaa.gov for information on the tropics.
The Island Free Press will continue to monitor Irma and will post updates as soon as they are available