Governor Roy Cooper is urging people along the North Carolina coast to pay close attention to Tropical Storm Arthur, the first named storm of the year.
“Everyone in our coastal areas should remain aware and cautious as Arthur brushes our coast on Monday,” Governor Cooper said. “Pay close attention to the forecast and don’t take chances in dangerous surf.”
Tropical Storm Arthur is about 275 southwest of Cape Hatteras with winds of 45 mph. By Monday morning, Arthur could be near Morehead City and Cape Lookout. Rough surf, heavy rain and gusty winds are likely for coastal North Carolina.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect from Surf City north to Duck, including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds. A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area in the next 24 hours.
The strongest winds will arrive early Monday and persist through Monday afternoon before diminishing later in the day.
Sustained winds of 40-50 miles an hour are possible across the Outer Banks, with gusts of 50-65 miles an hour possible. Areas just south and inland of the Outer Banks could see gusts of 20-40 mph.
Areas inland could see up to an inch of rain and wind gusts of 15-25 miles an hour along the U.S. 17 corridor. Scattered power outages are possible.
Visit hurricanes.gov for updates from the National Hurricane Center.
“This early season storm reminds us that we always need to be prepared for severe weather,” said North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “The official start of hurricane season is still two weeks away, but now is the time to be ready.”
The state’s preparedness website, ReadyNC.org, contains what you need to know to assemble a family emergency kit and prepare a family emergency plan.
This year, with the threat of the COVID-19 virus, be sure to include items in your emergency kit to keep your family healthy, like sanitizing wipes, masks and hand sanitizer.
When considering your evacuation plan for this hurricane season, it’s better to plan to stay inland with a family member or friend or at a hotel, instead of at an emergency shelter.