This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Gov. Pat McCrory was in Wilmington today warning those along the coast and beyond to prepare for Tropical Storm Arthur. The storm, which formed off the coast of Florida and is making its way north, is expected to strengthen into a category one hurricane by the time it reaches North Carolina’s coast on Thursday. There is a tropical storm warning for the entire North Carolina coast in effect now.

“While we all want to enjoy a fun Fourth of July weekend with friends and family, our highest priority should be safety during the storm,” McCrory said. “I encourage all of our coastal residents and visitors to take necessary precautions, listen to local media and use good judgment throughout the duration of the storm.”

The governor was joined by Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata and North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry at the New Hanover County Emergency Operations Center to give an update on the forecast and storm preparations.

Governor Pat McCrory has signed two executive orders related to the storm. The first declares a State of Emergency for 25 coastal and adjoining inland counties to prepare for the possibility of any damage, including coastal flooding, caused by Tropical Storm Arthur. The proclamation authorizes the use of state government resources to assist city and county governments in storm response. The second is a waiver of various transportation rules and regulations in order to quickly restore power and expedite any debris removal.

The North Carolina Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been monitoring the situation and will activate Thursday morning with additional personnel on site. The State Emergency Response Team is on standby, ready to assist if needed.

SERT partners include representatives from the departments of Public Safety, Transportation, Health and Human Services and Agriculture, as well as the State Wildlife Division, Office of Emergency Medical Services, the Civil Air Patrol, the N.C. National Guard, the State Highway Patrol, Adult Correction and Swift Water Rescue teams.