GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Hurricane Ian may still be headed to Florida, but North Carolina is getting ready for a downpour.
As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, Ian is moving north at 10 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Maximum sustained winds were clocked at 120 mph. The storm is a Category 3 major hurricane, it but could gain power later today through Wednesday and become a Category 4.
The storm is expected to continue north through Tuesday before taking a slight turn toward the north-northeast Tuesday night and Wednesday. The center is expected to cross the Gulf of Mexico today and approach Florida’s west coast on Wednesday or Wednesday night.
FOX8 Chief Meteorologist Van Denton says the Piedmont Triad is likely to get two to four inches of rain over the weekend with peak winds between twenty to thirty miles per hour.
Bracing for Hurricane Ian
North Carolina Emergency Management says the state is bracing for heavy rain and possible flooding on Friday and Saturday from the remnants of Hurricane Ian.
“While we don’t yet know exactly how this storm will impact our state, it’s clear that this will be a significant rain event for much of North Carolina and now is the time for people to get prepared,” said Gov. Roy Cooper in a statement. “We are tracking the storm closely and strongly encourage everyone across the state to have an emergency kit and emergency plan in place.”
On Thursday, the State Emergency Response Team will activate at the State Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh. 24-hour operations are set to continue until Friday morning.
“We are coordinating with our partners in government and the non-profit and private sectors to make sure we are ready to support local communities through whatever Ian brings,” said State Emergency Management Director Will Ray in a statement.
The City of Greensboro says that crews are working on routine maintenance.
“They do this so it doesn’t become a major effort in advance of a storm like this,” said Greensboro Communications Manager Jake Keys. “Trash and recycling collections are still on as normal and no city events have been re-scheduled at this point, though it’s not a stretch to think the annual Art in the Arboretum scheduled for Sunday will be canceled.”
What to expect
The state is warning North Carolinians to keep an eye on the forecast as the outlook becomes more clear.
Emergency Management says the chance of rain will increase in southeastern North Carolina Thursday night. The most widespread rainfall is expected on Friday and Satruday.
Much of North Carolina could see 2 to 5 inches of rain. Near the coast and along the Blue Ridge escarpment, 5 to 7 inches or more is possible.
Heavy rain could lead to flash flooding, landslides and high river levels. Gusty winds, isolated tornadoes, minor coastal flooding and hazardous marine conditions are also possible, creating a risk of isolated downed trees and power outages.
How to prepare
North Carolina Emergency Management has released a list of tips to make sure your family is ready:
- Have multiple ways to receive emergency info, including watches and warnings. Make sure emergency alerts are enabled on your cell phone and download a weather app.
- Have an emergency plan. Know where you would go if you need to evacuate. Make a plan to stay with family, friends or at a hotel. Public shelters should be a last resort.
- Gather some emergency supplies or refresh your emergency kit. Visit ReadyNC.gov for info on how to build an emergency kit.
- If you live at the coast, you should know if you live in a coastal evacuation zone. Visit KnowYourZone.nc.gov to see if you are in a pre-determined evacuation zone. Learn your zone and listen for it if evacuations are ordered by local governments.