Irma's path becomes clearer, impact expected in central NC

Source WBRC

Source WBRC

Latest projections of Hurricane Irma's pathway continue to affirm a solid hit to Florida and Georgia.

As of 12 p.m. Thursday, the most recent briefing from the NWS in Raleigh stated that the weather service has a moderate to high level of confidence that central North Carolina will see some level of impact from Hurricane Irma.

Sunday morning, National Guardsmen will begin staging crews in Greensboro, Charlotte and Asheville.

Wyatt said the county is preparing much in the same way it would for a severe winter storm, but also anticipating that heavy rains in a short amount of time could cause flooding, especially in low-lying valleys near steep slopes.

"Tampa is very, very, very vulnerable to this type of storm", Fishel said.

The governor's statement said North Carolina's Emergency Management team was coordinating storm preparation efforts as early as Labor Day.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center's latest forecast projects Irma's potent eye could make multiple landfalls in Florida. Wyatt said the Mountain State Fair, which opens this weekend, could be affected by the storm.

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Meanwhile, Hurricane Jose has also become a major hurricane, reaching Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, but the National Hurricane Center is forecasting a sharp turn to the northeast, turning it away from the Atlantic Coast and towards Bermuda. It should slowly weaken as it interacts with land.

Short said that his department is now at normal readiness, but is prepared to implement certain emergency protective measures over the next few days if necessary.

"The key at this point is to remain vigilant and follow the news", she said.

"They were rescuing lives from Lumberton all the way up to the Virginia line and everywhere in between", Thomas said.

"With the rain could come flash flooding in some areas and possible landslides in the mountains". Irma's effects are likely to conclude by Wednesday.

Individuals not in an evacuation zone are encouraged by the National Weather Service to prepare an emergency kit that includes a flashlight, batteries, non-perishable foods, water and first-aid supplies. At this point, there is no plan to suspend classes unless there is an imminent threat to the safety of students, staff, and faculty on campus.All updates will be posted to the WCU Weather-Related Announcements website at: "http://news-prod.wcu.edu/weather-announcements/".

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