RALEIGH – As Tropical Storm Florence is forecast to strengthen as it heads toward the East Coast, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a State of Emergency Friday and waived transportation rules to help farmers harvest and transport their crops more quickly.
“While it’s still too early to know the storm’s path, we know we have to be prepared,” Gov. Cooper said. “During harvest, time is of the essence. Action today can avoid losses due to Florence.”
To activate the transportation waiver, Gov. Cooper signed Executive Order No. 51, which declared a State of Emergency for North Carolina.
Cooper also signed Executive Order No. 52, which will temporarily waive the cap on the maximum hours of service restrictions for trucks and heavy vehicles traveling in and through the state, as well as weight restrictions for trucks carrying crops and livestock.
The executive order will help gather and move crops in and through North Carolina more easily and quickly in response to problems Tropical Storm Florence may cause.
Earlier Friday, Cooper said state emergency management officials are working with local and federal counterparts to prepare North Carolina for possible impact. He also urged residents to start preparing their families for the storm.
N.C. Emergency Management also shared the following tips to prepare for a possible tropical storm or hurricane:
- Build an emergency kit.
- Make a family communications plan.
- Know the routes you need to leave your home (evacuation routes). Locate your local emergency shelters.
- Closely watch/listen to the weather reports. Listen every hour as a storm nears.
- Put fuel in all vehicles and withdraw some cash from the bank. Gas stations and ATMs may be closed after a hurricane.
- If authorities ask you to leave, do so quickly.