Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency on Thursday morning as weather forecasters eyed the path of a large hurricane that may strike the Carolinas -- and much of the East Coast -- this weekend.
The executive order will waive restrictions for truck drivers responding to the storm, which would make it easier for utility crews who may be traveling to restore power outages. State transportation crews on Thursday were setting up equipment to clear sand and debris from roads along the Outer Banks and to cut downed trees across the state, McCrory said.
Even as meteorologists cautioned that the track of Hurricane Joaquin remained unclear Thursday, McCrory alerted the public to be ready for rains, sustained winds and possible flooding from the storm as early as Sunday. McCrory joined the governors of Virginia and New Jersey in declaring a state of emergency.
“We’re going to be over-prepared, and we hope that we have to respond to nothing, but we’re going to be ready to respond to the worst of the worst and we’re going to need everyone’s help,” McCrory said at a news conference in the state’s Emergency Operations Center.
Central North Carolina has already seen more than a week of rain, and according to the National Weather Service could see as many as seven more inches of rain by Sunday. McCrory said people across the state should take prudent steps such as not treading into standing water to avoid the possibility of drowning.