Governor Cooper urges North Carolinians to get to safety and stay there

Published 4:02 pm Thursday, September 5, 2019

As Hurricane Dorian’s effects arrive today (Thursday) in North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper today urged North Carolinians stay safe and to stay off the roads.

Extreme winds, heavy storm surge, tornadoes and the high risk of flash floods are all significant threats.

“This is a powerful, dangerous storm,” said Cooper. “Do not put yourselves or your families at risk and do not drive through flood waters.”

A tornado touched down Thursday morning in Brunswick County, leaving a trail of damage approximately 10 miles long near Calabash and Sunset Beach. Emergency responders confirmed damage to business and homes, and vehicles and boats flipped over.

Hurricane Dorian will move up the coast today with heavy rains, sustained winds up to 100 miles an hour, the threat of tornadoes and a high risk of dangerous flash floods. While inland and river flooding are expected, the worst of the storm’s effects will be on the coast until the storm clears the Outer Banks tomorrow.

Storm surge of up to several feet on the coast could be life threatening, with the worst impacts expected at high tide.

Already, more than 6,500 North Carolinians are without power. Additional power outages and communications outages are expected.

More than 50 emergency shelters opened to accommodate evacuees. A large state shelter is open in Durham. More than 1,000 people are residing in the shelters Thursday morning.

At least 40 counties have declared states of emergency, and five have instituted curfews for tonight, including Hertford County. More than 45 school districts closed today and five are on early release.

NC 2-1-1 is available to help residents find food, housing, disaster services and health care. The referral hotline is free, confidential and multilingual operators are ready to assist. Help is also available by texting NCDorian to 898211 to talk via text with a 2-1-1 operator.

As Hurricane Dorian moves up the coast, here are some important safety tips:

Never drive roads covered by water. It only takes a few inches of water to wash away a car. If you come across a road covered in water, turn around immediately.

Stay indoors. Stay away from windows. Close storm shutters.

Stay in a secure space, like a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level of your home.

Stay alert. Use a radio or another device for warnings about wind, tornadoes, rising water or orders to turn off gas, water, and power.

Never use a generator indoors. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can build up quickly.

The latest storm information may be found on the state’s Hurricane Dorian website (, on Twitter @NCEmergency and Facebook. Visit for traffic conditions statewide. Real-time traffic, weather and preparedness information is also available via the ReadyNC mobile app, available free for iPhones and Android devices.

If you wish to donate your time or financial assistance, please go to NC.Gov/donate.