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National Guard, rescue teams poised in North Carolina as Cooper warns, 'Hurricane Ian is at our door'

RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) —”Over the past 24 hours, we have seen Hurricane Ian plow through the southeast leaving destruction and death behind and we mourn for those lives lost,” said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.

The governor made clear Friday during a news conference that the state is taking the risk of the storm seriously. At least 21 people have been confirmed dead so far, as of about 2 p.m.

“Hurricane Ian is at our door,” Cooper said. “We expect drenching rain and sustained heavy winds over most of our state. Our message today is simple: Be smart and be safe.”

The governor warned that North Carolinians should stay off of the roads during the storm. If you must go out, the governor warns not to drive through water.

North Carolina declared a State of Emergency on Wednesday, which is ongoing. The State of Emergency makes the state eligible for federal reimbursement for certain expenditures related to the storm.

In 25 counties, local emergency operation centers have opened or are partially activated, 12 of which have local States of Emergency in place.

The North Carolina National Guard has mobilized multiple force packages to support emergency response. Personnel and vehicles are pre-stages in Asheville, Wilkesboro, Conover, Burlington, Greensboro and Mooresville, according to Emergency Management Director William Ray.

“While we don’t expect widespread evacuations will be needed during this storm, heavy rain in coastal counties will make flooding a threat,” Ray said. “Visit to find out if you live in one of these evacuation zones and listen for your zone if evacuations are ordered.”

More than 29,000 homes and businesses were without power as of 1:30 p.m. Outages are primarily in the southeast at this time.

Cooper said that utility companies have brought in extra crews from other parts of the country and told the state they have thousands of workers ready to repair lines and clear downed trees and debris.

Swift water rescue team and search and rescue task force are stationed, Ray said. The state has increased the number of pre-deployed from Thursday up to 12 across all three regional branches. These teams have not yet needed to respond to any incidents.

Source: Fox 8 News Channel

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