Gov. Roy Cooper is urging the public to "be smart" when it comes to flood safety as Hurricane Ian begins to wash over North Carolina.
In a release from the governor's office, Gov. Cooper warned of the potential for flooding and power outages caused by heavy rainfall from the storm, which made landfall in South Carolina on Friday (September 30) afternoon. Some areas of the state could see between 2 and 6 inches of rainfall into Saturday, with local amounts totaling up to 8 inches.
"Our message today is simple. Be smart and be safe," Cooper said. "We've faced storms like this before and we know what to do. Especially this weekend, I appreciate the efforts of emergency management officials, our national guard, state highway patrol and other first responders to keep people safe."
A flash flood watch is in effect for most of North Carolina, with the exception of the southwestern region. The governor's office warned of the potential for rising rivers and landslides in the mountains as well as a storm surge along the coast. Additionally, most of the state is under a wind advisory into Saturday, with gusts up to 55 mph in western parts of the state. A tornado watch was also issued earlier in the day ahead of the storm.
North Carolina Emergency Management shared flood safety tips on social media to help residents stay safe as the state begins to see impacts of the storm.
Because of the heavy rainfall, flooding could occur with very little notice and come on fast. Never walk through moving water and don't drive through flood areas because the water could be moving more quickly than you realize. If flooding does occur and roadways are blocked off, do not pass any traffic barricades.