Storm now predicted for landfall in southeast North Carolina

Hed:

Officials urge preparation for Hurricane Matthew

Subhead:

Storm could begin to impact area starting on Friday

From staff reports

Cherry Point, Havelock and county officials are beginning preparations for possible impacts from Hurricane Matthew.

The predicted path of the storm from the National Hurricane Center brings it through coastal North Carolina or just off the coast, potentially spreading heavy rain and high winds, possibly of hurricane strength of 74 mph or higher, throughout the region.

Cherry Point has eight Tropical Cyclone Conditions based on forecasts and weather conditions.

“When severe weather approaches, the destructive weather conditions advance through the progressive TCCs, triggering preparation actions based on the anticipated schedule of the storm,” said Mike Barton, director of the Joint Public Affairs Office at Cherry Point.

Emergency preparation guides are available online at the bottom of Cherry Point’s main website at www.cherrypoint.marines.mil.

Barton said base personnel will be updating information through the Cherry Point Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Havelock emergency officials are beginning initial steps in preparation for the storm and are coordinating with base and county emergency officials. City employees are fueling city vehicles and generators.

Officials are urging residents to prepare their households for the storm by securing loose outdoor items such as trash cans, outdoor furniture, bird feeders and other items that could be blown by the wind. Those near storm drains are asked to make sure they are clear of pine needles or other debris that could clog them and create flooded streets during times of heavy rain.

Residents should make sure they have adequate food and water supplies, and batteries to operate flashlights and radios. Vehicles should be filled with gas and all prescription medicine should be updated and filled. Residents should also get cash, as ATMs may not be operable. All electronic devices should be fully charged.

Hurricane Matthew made landfall Tuesday in Haiti with 145 mph winds. The hurricane center predicted Tuesday that the storm would move west toward Florida before turning north along the East Coast. The storm is expected to weaken slightly as it approaches the North Carolina coast but is still expected to have winds of around 100 mph as it approaches.

Rain is expected to move in on Friday, with conditions deteriorating overnight. Landfall, if it occurs, is expected sometime Saturday morning or Saturday afternoon.

Along with high winds, flooding along the Neuse River and Slocum Creek are possible, and flooding of low-lying areas along with flash flooding produced by heavy rain is possible.