Published: 2017-09-05 16:39:00
Updated: 2017-09-05 19:04:35
Posted September 5
Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina will feel some of the effects from Hurricane Irma, but just what that means depends on its path, WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.
"There is nothing I see that takes the storm away from North Carolina," he said. "Hopefully it will be in a much more weakened state."
Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss the steps the state is taking to get prepared.
"If (Irma) takes a turn to the north sooner than forecast, we could have a pretty big impact," he said. "Then, if it goes over inland Florida, we could still get a lot of wind and rain."
Sprayberry urged residents to prepare for the storm by packing a family emergency kit and paying attention to updated forecasts and information about evacuation routes.
Gov. Roy Cooper echoed that sentiment.
"We have to be ready for this dangerous hurricane," he said. "It's never too early to be ready. Our people are ready for this. We've been there before and we can do it again."
As of Tuesday evening, Irma had maximum sustained winds of 185 mph as it approached the Caribbean from the east, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.
The center of Irma was about 130 miles east of Antigua and about 135 miles east-southeast of Barbuda, prompting an ominous warning from officials as the airport closed.
The storm's eye was expected to pass about 50 miles from Puerto Rico late Wednesday.