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As Hurricane Irma continues to move across the Atlantic Ocean, many cities along the East Coast are taking precautions.
Among those cities is Wilmington, located on the coast of North Carolina. While Governor Roy Cooper has declared a state of emergency, Wilmington has not yet been issued an evacuation notice.
Although the Category 5 storm’s exact path isn’t yet known, the latest update shows it starting in southern Florida and working its way up the eastern coast toward Georgia and South Carolina. The track also shows Wilminton narrowly avoiding the eye and cone of the storm.
The National Weather Service continues to monitor the storm, and as of now it appears “unlikely” there will be direct impacts to Wilmington. However, the city could still very well feel some of the affects of the powerful storm. It’s important to keep in mind that the storm’s path is not concrete and could very well change its course.
Cooper said in his emergency declaration that it’s “not too soon to get ready,” adding that “Irma is a powerful storm.”
Residents of New Hanover County had been advised to start planning in the event that Irma takes an eastern turn and heads its way. To do so, the county government has a website full of tools and guides to help you plan for Irma.
First, it’s important to put a plan into place for where you will go in case of the emergency. Second, it’s vital to get your supplies from a local store. That includes water — 1 gallon per person per day — as well as nonperishable food, flashlights and batteries. Third, protect your home by ensuring it’s not at risk of getting leveled by strong winds of trees.
Lastly, you must prepare to evacuate. With that, it’s vital you find the correct evacuation zone. To find your evacuation zone, click here. Once you find out that information, check below to see the proper evacuation routes in the event Wilmington or other areas throughout the state are evacuated.
If a temporary shelter is needed, multiple locations throughout the state will open their doors to those seeking refuge. To find a full list of shelters nearby, officials are urging residents to download the ReadyNC mobile application. It works on both iPhone and Android phones and gives real-time weather updates as well as listing nearby shelters. Click here to download the application.