Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall north of Wilmington early Friday morning and is likely to move northwest toward the Triangle throughout the day.
Ahead of Hurricane Florence’s arrival, the Outer Banks and much of the North and South Carolina coasts began to evacuate as early as Monday. The Triangle can expect torrential rain and strong winds, especially on Friday through Sunday. The National Weather Service in Raleigh is predicting the Triangle will receive between 7 to 10 inches of rain, while Jacksonville and Wilmington may see up to 20 inches.
In the next three days, residents in the Triangle should focus on preparing for what they will need or where they will go when heavy rain, flooding, power outages and strong winds occur.
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Here are five things you should know on Tuesday, three days before Hurricane Florence appears in the Triangle:
1. Prepare: By the time Hurricane Florence reaches central North Carolina, it’s expected to stall, bringing torrential rain and strong winds. That means you have until Thursday to buy non-perishable food, prepare an emergency kit, gather important documents and plan where your family will go if you have to evacuate. Make an evacuation plan for your pets that includes: enough food and water for at least three days, immunization records, and lists of pet-friendly evacuation shelters and hotels.
2. Power: Triangle residents should expect multi-day power outages. Duke Energy is anticipating Florence will bring bigger damage than Hurricane Matthew, which caused major flooding in entire towns in Eastern North Carolina in 2016. If the power goes out, unplug all electronic devices and keep the refrigerator and freezer closed. Here’s a list of numbers you should call or text if the power goes out.
3. Bottled water: Don’t stress about the lack of water on grocery shelves. If you receive city water from Raleigh or Durham, it’s unlikely you’ll lose access to water if the power goes out. Both cities have back up generators to make sure residents get water if the power goes out. This means you should have access to water to drink, bathe and flush toilets. If you live in an apartment or use well water, stock up on bottled water (you can fill up reusable water bottles, pots and pans if you can’t find any at the store).
4. School cancellations: Several Triangle universities have canceled classes beginning as early as 5 p.m. Tuesday and through the rest of the week. So far, Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, Meredith College, N.C. Central, N.C. State, Shaw University and St. Augustine’s have canceled classes. Some universities are advising students to leave campus before road conditions deteriorate. Wake County schools is dismissing students 2.5 hours early on Thursday and canceling classes Friday.
5. Stay connected: Follow local emergency websites and social media accounts of your local government to stay up to date on weather and road conditions, and evacuation orders. Gov. Roy Cooper said local communities will make the call on when to evacuate.