Hurricane Matthew might not make a direct hit on Eastern North Carolina this weekend, but it is expected to dump between 4 and 8 inches of rain on the area.

Hurricane Matthew might not make a direct hit on Eastern North Carolina this weekend, but it is expected to dump between 4 and 8 inches of rain on the area.
According to the National Weather Service, Matthew will make its closest approach to the N.C. coast around 2 a.m. Sunday as a category 1 hurricane.
But beginning Friday night, heavy rains are expected to begin falling over the area as the storm makes its way up the eastern seaboard from Florida.
Rain is expected to fall throughout Friday night, on Saturday and into Sunday, creating a risk for flash flooding, forecasters said.
Winds of 35 to 45 mph with gusts 50 to 55 mph are possible across portions of Onslow and Carteret counties. Across Ocracoke and Outer Banks Dare County, sustained winds around 35 mph will be possible, with gusts 45 to 50 mph.
Elsewhere, including Craven County, winds will be 20 to 30 mph with a few gusts of 35 to 40 mph possible.
With already-saturated ground in much of the area, there is enhanced risk for falling trees and power outages, according to the weather service.
State and local officials continue to make preparations in anticipation of the storm’s arrival. Gov. Pat McCrory is scheduled to visit the N.C. Emergency Management Eastern Office in Kinston Thursday afternoon to visit review plans.
MumFest, New Bern’s largest annual festival, has been canceled for this weekend.