Gov. Roy Cooper speaks at a press conference Tuesday.
RALEIGH — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on Friday to help prepare for Hurricane Isaias, which he said will bring atypical challenges given the longstanding COVID-19 crisis.
The emergency declaration, running concurrently with the one for the coronavirus in place for months, will help state and local governments respond more nimbly to the storm, Cooper said at a media briefing. The state already has adjusted its traditional shelter options to take social distancing into account.
“With the right protection and sheltering, we can keep people safe from the storm while at the same time trying to avoid making the pandemic worse,” Cooper said at a media briefing. “A hurricane during a pandemic is double trouble, but the state has been carefully preparing for this scenario.”
The National Weather Service forecast indicates the storm will first increase ocean swells and cause rip currents, starting Friday and continuing into next week. Cooper said the state could feel the greatest impact of the storm Monday night and into Tuesday. Tropical storm-force winds could be felt as early as Sunday night.
Hyde County authorities announced on Friday the evacuation of Ocracoke Island residents and nonresident property owners starting at 6 a.m. Saturday. Ocracoke Island is accessible only by ferry.
Coastal residents being asked to evacuate should first try to locate family or friends to stay with inland, Cooper said, or stay at a hotel if they can afford one.If they can do neither, they’ll be directed to shelter reception centers, where they’ll undergo health screenings. Those with COVID-19 symptoms will be isolated or […]