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Gov. Perdue: Prepare for Irene, but don't panic

Posted August 23, 2011

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— Gov. Bev Perdue talked to reporters this afternoon about the latest information on Hurricane Irene, expected to approach North Carolina by Saturday.

Early forecasts predicted the storm might make landfall near Wilmington and move into inland North Carolina, but more recent predictions are moving the storm’s track farther east.

Perdue stressed that North Carolina is prepared to respond if the storm hits the state. “Irene is my mama’s name, so I take this one personally,” she joked. “But it’s really, really early.”

“The track continues to change,” she said. “The bottom line is, none of us know.”

Perdue said it would likely be Thursday before emergency management officials would know whether Irene will make landfall here as it moves up the eastern seaboard. She said officials are on high alert and urged homeowners to start thinking about storm preparations.  NC update on Irene preparedness NC update on Irene preparedness

Since last year, Perdue said, the state has acquired “ambulance buses” that will help if nursing homes or other facilities need to be evacuated.

“We’re as prepared as we can be,” she said. “I don’t think any of us are overly confident, but we have a network that’s very prepared and works well together.” 

But she cautioned the media to “try not to dampen the enthusiasm” of vacationers weighing whether to come to the state in the next week.

“This is the last 10 days of prime tourism season for North Carolina. We don’t want to over-alert anyone,” she said. “We’re going to be safe. But until we know, we don’t know.”

State Emergency Management director Doug Hoell said the state’s Emergency Operations Center will be activated Thursday morning. He says FEMA will arrive in Raleigh Wednesday.

Officials on Ocracoke Island have already decided to evacuate the island as the storm nears. But Hoell said he doesn’t expect many other local governments will decide on evacuation orders before Thursday.

When asked how much money North Carolina has available for disaster response and whether this year’s state budget cuts could affect that response, Perdue couldn’t offer a number. But she said she’s confident funds will be found if they’re needed.

“Resources have never been an impediment to us doing what we need to do,” said Perdue. “You can rest assured that, whatever’s in the budget, we will be able to do what we have to do.”

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  • same ole story Aug 24, 2011

    Dont run off the tourist for a CHANCE a storm MIGHT hit SOMEWHERE on our coast. LOL thats it. Impassable roads? LOL WOW just WOW. Nuts.
    Keepin_it_Reel_in_NC
    I sure hope you are on the emergency staff that is going to pick up the pieces and help ALL those vacationers!! What a DA, this IS going to hit the coast line. The size of this is going to felt in NC!! Remember rule one - what ever you are on when it kicks in you have to share.......

  • ifcdirector Aug 24, 2011

    I think we are better served preparing for a possible recurrence of Hurricane Bev. That could wipe out the entire state from Murphy to Manteo.

  • Nancy Aug 24, 2011

    “This is the last 10 days of prime tourism season for North Carolina. We don’t want to over-alert anyone,” she said. “We’re going to be safe. But until we know, we don’t know.”

    Jeez, no, no problem, trees will be down, power will be out probably and of course then there is all the sand that covers the roads but encourage an influx of tourists, that's going to help recovery.

    She reminds me of a fencepost.

  • Southern Girl Aug 24, 2011

    PS - sort of reminds me of the movie"Jaws." Don't close down the coastal town where a HUGE shark is - leave the beaches open - come on down!!!

  • Southern Girl Aug 24, 2011

    Lordy....not another campaign speech!!

  • obamablows Aug 24, 2011

    good ole bev, just close the Atlantic Ocean down and we will all be saved. what a joke, worst governor in nc history. Hope that jeannettes folly (i mean pier/aquarium) will survive the storm. wouldnt want bev and basnight with egg all over their faces. my three year old speaks better than her and she has a cute lisp........lol

  • Follow_The_Money27617 Aug 24, 2011

    WHAT!! WHAT!!!! Are you actually telling people to spend their vacation in a ravaged beach town?? MOST LIKELY IMPASSABLE ROADS POWER OUTAGES??!! Bare necessities unavailable. REALLY?! REALLY?! REALLY?! REALLY?!
    cantbtaught
    August 24, 2011 3:51 p.m.

    No thats not what she said. Can you comprehend? I can break it down for you if you would like. Her point is fairly simple......Dont run off the tourist for a CHANCE a storm MIGHT hit SOMEWHERE on our coast. LOL thats it. Impassable roads? LOL WOW just WOW. Nuts.

  • WHEEL Aug 24, 2011

    Her press conferences are only slightly better than Obama's. At least she stays in Raleigh!

  • same ole story Aug 24, 2011

    But she cautioned the media to “try not to dampen the enthusiasm” of vacationers weighing whether to come to the state in the next week.

    “This is the last 10 days of prime tourism season for North Carolina. We don’t want to over-alert anyone,” she said. “We’re going to be safe. But until we know, we don’t know.”

    WHAT!! WHAT!!!! Are you actually telling people to spend their vacation in a ravaged beach town?? MOST LIKELY IMPASSABLE ROADS POWER OUTAGES??!! Bare necessities unavailable. REALLY?! REALLY?! REALLY?! REALLY?!

  • Ambygirl Aug 24, 2011

    london12-- Love it! She does what all politicians do best! Just that- talk out of both sides of her mouth! And where did she live before she became Gov?? Has she never been through a hurricane here in NC?? What a DA!

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