As Hurricane Irma barreled toward the western coast of Florida, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper began shifting emergency resources to the western part of the state but cautioned others to stay alert.
Under tracking models available on Saturday morning, Cooper said heavy rain and wind could arrive in North Carolina as early as Monday morning.
“While we expect the greatest impacts in the mountains and along the South Carolina border, all regions of North Carolina can expect to feel some wind and some rain,” Cooper said at a news conference Saturday morning in Raleigh. “With the rain could come flash flooding in some areas and possible landslides in the mountains.”
Cooper’s administration is continuing to monitor roads, making sure areas had gasoline supplies, and preparing swift boat rescue teams for quick response.
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On the coast, Cooper said, there have been dangerous rip currents. Flash flooding throughout the state is possible.
“Make sure you are ready for whatever Irma brings,” Cooper said.
The National Guard will post emergency crews in Greensboro, Asheville and Charlotte on Sunday, according to Cooper.
Traffic has increased throughout the state as people evacuating from Florida and elsewhere seek safety to the north. Cooper urged people to only take as much fuel as they need in the coming days so the supply would not diminish rapidly.
Mike Sprayberry, the state emergency management director, said plans are in place to assist with sheltering and feeding large groups if needed.