RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) -Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency for all 100 counties in North Carolina ahead of Hurricane Joaquin, which is expected to impact the state this weekend.
McCrory was joined by North Carolina Department of Public Safety Secretary Frank Perry and North Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson during a press conference Thursday afternoon.
McCrory said the state could see possible “deadly flooding” due to the rain that has already fallen across the state and the rain that is expected as Hurricane Joaquin inches closer towards the coast.
“Nearly the entire state is under a flood watch even before the hurricane,” McCrory said during the press conference.
McCrory said the Outer Banks and coastal areas will be vulnerable during the storm as they have been hit with rain since last week.
“There is nowhere for the water to go at this point,” McCrory said. “This could be a one-two punch.”
McCrory said North Carolina can expect 5 to 7 inches of rain, with the heaviest rain over the weekend. He also said he was concerned that Joaquin could be like Hurricane Floyd.
Emergency management has been monitoring the situation and McCrory said rescue teams are ready, including the National Guard and the NCDOT. Extra equipment has already been stage at the Outer Banks and western crews are in standby.
Partial activation of the Emergency Operations Center is expected to start Friday.
McCrory also encouraged all North Carolinians to update their emergency kits with bottled water, batteries and other emergency supplies. He also asked that people stay away from flooded areas, citing the most storm related deaths are due to drowning.
“Our number one goal is to save lives,” Governor McCrory said.
Joaquin strengthened into a Category 4 storm Thursday afternoon. According to the latest track, Joaquin shifted east and farther away from the North Carolina Coast.