Emergency declaration helps farmers

Published 8:59 pm Friday, September 7, 2018

RALEIGH – With Tropical Storm Florence forecast to strengthen as it heads toward the East Coast, Gov. Roy Cooper declared a State of Emergency today (Friday) and waived transportation rules to help farmers harvest and transport their crops more quickly.

“While it’s still too early to know the storm’s path, we know we have to be prepared,” Gov. Cooper said. “During harvest, time is of the essence. Action today can avoid losses due to Florence.”

To activate the transportation waiver, Gov. Cooper also signed Executive Order No. 51, declaring a State of Emergency for the State of North Carolina on Friday.

Today, Gov. Cooper signed Executive Order No. 52, temporarily waiving the cap on maximum hours of service restrictions for trucks and heavy vehicles traveling in and through North Carolina and size and weight restrictions for trucks carrying crops and livestock.

The executive order will help gather and move crops in and through the state more easily and quickly in response to problems that could be caused by Tropical Storm Florence in North Carolina and along the East Coast.

Earlier today, Gov. Cooper said state emergency management officials are working with local and federal counterparts to prepare North Carolina for possible impacts from Florence. He also urged North Carolinians to take steps to prepare their families.

NC Emergency Management shared the following tips for preparing for a possible tropical storm or hurricane:

Build an emergency kit.

Make a family communications plan.

Know the routes you need to leave your home (evacuation routes). Locate your local emergency shelters.

Closely watch/listen to the weather reports. Listen every hour as a storm nears.

Put fuel in all vehicles and withdraw some cash from the bank. Gas stations and ATMs may be closed after a hurricane.

If authorities ask you to leave, do so quickly.

Additional safety tips can be found on the free ReadyNC mobile app or online at readync.org.

As of Friday evening, Florence had weakened to Tropical Storm status. Forecasters are expecting that to change soon as the system will strengthen, possibly to a Category 4 hurricane by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. By that time, Florence is expected to be closing in on the southeastern U.S. coastline. It’s still too early to predict its actual path.