It is without question that Eastern North Carolina will be met with strong wind, drenching rain, possible power outages, flooding and a dangerous storm surge. Fortunately for some, there are local shelters to keep them out of harm’s way.

The National Weather Service as of 5 a.m. Thursday put the weakening Hurricane Florence at Category 2 status (maximum sustained winds 115 mph). High pressure just to the north of the storm will steer it toward the south. As the high dissipates over the next day or so the hurricane will no longer be heading due west, but will meander around the Wilmington area and possibly dip further to the south, according to the Weather Channel.

For the people who are choosing not to evacuate, this is the situation: The current conditions of Havelock/Cherry point is wind at 19 mph gusting to 33 out of the north-northeast, with rain on its way. Hal Austin, a meteorologist with The National Weather Service in Newport, N.C. said Hurricane Florence on Thursday was 200 miles east-southeast of Wilmington.

“[The storm] is still expected to make landfall at 2 p.m. (Friday), Austin said.

Because of the deterioration of the high-pressure system, there will be the abovementioned change in direction with the coast likely to see torrential rain totaling about 24 inches, he continued.

“There will be a high chance of rain through the weekend, and [the storm] will move to the southern tip [of N.C.], and move west through central South Carolina this weekend. The outer edges of the rain bands are off the coast and will reach Havelock and Morehead City around 10 a.m. or so.”

If conditions worsen and you feel your safety is at risk hurricane shelters have been set up in and around Craven County

Havelock High School, Ben Quinn Elementary (allows pets). Brinson Elementary and Farm Life Elementary School in Vanceboro are now open. Currently, there are 170 people so far at Havelock High School, according to Ira C. Whitford, assistant emergency services director. The high school has a capacity of 300 people.

One Cape Carteret resident decided Havelock High School was where he was going to ride the storm out because he lives near the water.

“It seemed like a pretty good place,” said Ray Granberry.

He said one of his only complaints is having to sleep on the floor. He also said he lives in a doublewide mobile home and didn’t want to be in danger from the wind and the rain.

Newport Middle School opened on Tuesday as a hurricane shelter and they are also accepting pets as long as their vaccinations are up to date.