RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) — In advance of Hurricane Ian’s remnants moving through the state, Governor Roy Cooper has declared a State of Emergency.

The announcement came Wednesday and is intended to activate the state’s emergency operations plan, waive transportation rules to help the transport of fuel and critical supplies, help first responders and the agriculture industry and protect consumers from price gouging.

“A State of Emergency is needed now so that farmers and those preparing for the storm can more quickly get ready for the heavy rain that is likely to fall in much of our state,” said Cooper. “North Carolinians should stay aware, keep a close eye on the forecast and prepare their emergency supplies.”

North Carolinians can expect heavy rainfall and possible flooding and tornadoes on Friday and Saturday from the remnants of Hurricane Ian. The State Emergency Response Team will activate on Thursday at the State Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh and plans to move to 24-hour operations on Friday morning.

Executive order 270 waives the size and weight requirements for vehicles engaged in relief efforts before, during and after the severe weather, including power restoration and debris removal, as well as the transportation of goods like food, fuel, and medical supplies. The order also helps North Carolina’s agricultural sector by temporarily suspending weighing of vehicles used to transport livestock, poultry or crops ready to be harvested. The Council of State concurred with the waiver of transportation regulations in the order today.

In addition, North Carolina’s price gouging law against overcharging in a state of emergency is now in effect statewide.

Governor Cooper also authorized the activation of about 80 members of the North Carolina National Guard to assist as needed.

North Carolinians are advised to stay aware and keep a close eye on the forecast for the next several days. Much of North Carolina is forecast to see 2-5 inches late this week and weekend, but 5-7 inches or more will be possible near the coast and along the Blue Ridge Escarpment. These rainfall totals could lead to localized flash flooding, landslides in the mountains, and rises on main-stem rivers. Rainfall totals and the timing of the heaviest rain could be adjusted based on the eventual track of Ian.

Gusty winds, isolated tornadoes, minor coastal flooding and hazardous marine conditions will also be possible late this week and weekend as Ian moves through the region. Isolated downed trees and power outages will be possible due to gusty winds and saturated soils.

The Governor and state officials advise these tips to make sure people are personally prepared:

  • Have multiple ways to receive emergency information, including watches and warnings. Make sure emergency alerts are enabled on a cell phone and download a weather app.
  • Have an emergency plan. Know where to go if there’s a 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 an emergency kit. Visit ReadyNC.gov for info on how to build an emergency kit.
  • If people live at the coast, be aware if you live in a coastal evacuation zone. Visit KnowYourZone.nc.gov to see if you are located in a pre-determined evacuation zone. Learn your zone and listen for it if evacuations are ordered by local governments.

Visit ReadyNC.gov for additional information on weather preparation, as well as information on power outages. Visit DriveNC.gov for current travel conditions from NCDOT.

View the State of Emergency Order.