COOPER: Irma expected to bring rip currents to North Carolina's coast

10 September, 2017, 12:54 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Source WBRC

Hurricane Irma is still expected to hit Western North Carolina after making landfall in Florida this weekend.

"The way this track sets up, the whole west coast of Florida is in play", Fishel said. At present, hurricane force winds extend 70 miles from the center of Irma and tropical storm force winds extend out 185 miles.

State and local officials certainly have been offering sage advice in urging people to remain vigilant to the potential threat posed by Hurricane Irma. It should slowly weaken as it interacts with land.

Only the far southwest corner of North Carolina lies inside the storm's "cone of uncertainty", and as a precaution, the American Red Cross opened shelters Saturday evening in Henderson, Gaston, Mecklenberg and Johnston counties.

Cooper declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Irma on Wednesday.The National Hurricane Center is calling Irma "potentially catastrophic". Naples, Fort Myers and Tampa are now expected to bear the brunt of the storm.

"Once the storm starts, law enforcement can not save you", Scott said at a news conference in Sarasota. "This could be one of the worst situations they've ever seen in that city".

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"If Hurricane Irma were to affect Western Carolina University, we will follow the University's Adverse Weather Policy (Policy # 41) to make determinations on class and work schedules".

Cooper also echoed today's Nation Weather Service warnings of severe rip currents and risky surf along the southeastern coast, including Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties.

As Hurricane Irma continues to work its way through the Caribbean towards southern Florida, the National Weather Service in Raleigh now forecasts the storm to impact central North Carolina late Sunday or early Monday.

According to the most recent NWS briefing, strong wind gusts could result in damage and power outages that last for days throughout central North Carolina.

The region's universities, which have substantial numbers of students and faculty commuting along narrow mountain roads that susceptible to landslides and through valleys that could be threatened by flooding, are also keeping an eye on the system. In the Triangle, rainfall totals will be in the half-inch to inch-and-a-half range. Irma is still large enough to bring rain and gusty winds to the state Monday and Tuesday.

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