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Tropical storm warning issued for Wake County as Hurricane Dorian moves toward NC

Hurricane Dorian moving onto Outer Banks as it picks up speed

Watch the ABC11 Friday morning forecast for Hurricane Dorian as it moves north to the Carolinas.
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Watch the ABC11 Friday morning forecast for Hurricane Dorian as it moves north to the Carolinas.

Read our latest story on the forecast for Wake County and the Triangle here.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for Wake County and parts of central and eastern North Carolina as Hurricane Dorian is expected to make its way toward the state’s coast.

The National Weather Service in Raleigh says there “has been very little change in the track of Hurricane Dorian, but the overall timing through central NC has slowed down.”

As of Wednesday morning, Sept. 4, Hurricane Dorian was moving parallel to northeast Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.

When the storm does arrive, here’s what’s expected in the region, according to the NWS:

Wind gusts of 40 to 60 miles per hour. Highest wind risk is from Thursday afternoon into Friday morning.

High winds expected along and east of Interstate 95 could blow down trees and power lines. In the Triangle, isolated trees and power lines could be blown down as well.

Heavy rainfall of 4 to 8 inches expected, primarily south and east of Raleigh.

From Raleigh toward the west, 2 inches or less of rain is expected.

Flooding in the Triangle is possible, especially in urban areas, Thursday through midday Friday.

On Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said the storm’s track “should take the core of the hurricane very near, or possibly over, the coasts of South and North Carolina on Thursday and Friday.”

And Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday that residents of eastern counties will see weather conditions begin to deteriorate late Wednesday night and early Thursday “as the leading edge of Dorian draws closer to our shores.”

Homes in the Boardwalk RV Park in Emerald Isle, NC were destroyed by a tornado that formed on Thursday Sept. 5, 2019, ahead of Hurricane Dorian. The Salty Pirate Waterpark and the storage lot of the Holiday Trav-l Park were also affected.

The area under a tropical storm warning includes Halifax, Franklin, Hoke, Cumberland, Nash, Edgecombe, Wayne, Sampson, Scotland, Wake, Wilson, Harnett, Johnston, Martin, Pitt, Greene, Lenoir, Duplin, Bladen, Columbus and Robeson counties.

The latest advisories also include a flash flood watch for areas including Cumberland, Edgecombe, Johnston, Sampson, Wayne, and Wilson counties, from Thursday morning through Friday afternoon.

While the storm will be felt hardest on the coast, there are steps Triangle residents can to take to prepare for it.

Several organizations and volunteers, with the U.S. Army National Guard, finished preparing an empty Sears location at Northgate Mall in Durham, NC, for Hurricane Dorian evacuees on Tuesday, Sep. 4.

State leaders urged North Carolina residents to get their emergency kits ready now, and to have food and water to last several days.

The Triangle will again serve as a location for centrally located “mega” shelters for coastal evacuees, including Northgate Mall in Durham.

Local emergency information

Wake County Emergency Management: Sign up to get Ready Wake emergency alerts. Twitter: @ReadyWake. 919-856-6480.

Durham City/County Emergency Management: Sign up to get Alert Durham messages. Twitter: @AlertDurham. 919-560-0660.

Orange County Emergency Management: Register for Ready Orange alerts at or by texting your zip code to 888777. Text “OCStorm” to 888777 for weather specific alerts.

National Weather Service in Raleigh: Twitter: @NWSRaleigh

N.C. Emergency Management: Twitter: @NCEmergency

N.C. Department of Public Safety:

At the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek in Raleigh, N.C., thousands of utility workers are staging Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, ready to be deployed as soon as Hurricane Dorian passes North Carolina.

Follow more of our reporting on Hurricane Dorian

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Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan covers North Carolina state government and politics at The News & Observer. She previously covered Durham for 13 years, and has received six North Carolina Press Association awards, including a 2018 award for investigative reporting.