RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Raleigh officials are going door-to-door in low lying neighborhoods ahead of Hurricane Florence warning folks it could be dangerous to stay put.
Twenty-six thousand residents live in designed low-lying areas. They're being encouraged to move to higher ground until the storm passes.
If folks need to be rescued from rising waters, the city has three swift water rescue teams and two backup crews.
Officials said their biggest concerns are flooding and wind damage.
"The recovery has the potential to last for weeks," said Mayor Nancy MacFarlane.
Water is being released at Lake Johnson, Lake Benson, Lake Wheeler, and the Wake Forest Reservoir in an effort to minimize the problems.
We are being told the city is fully staffed, but as the system moves through there will be a point when operations might be suspended.
When sustained winds reach 50 miles per hour, authorities say it's too dangerous to send out EMS and fire crews.
"We will do everything we can regardless of the situation to help protect lives and property and that involves judgement that they know how to make, but when the conditions get severe enough, we will protect our equipment and our employees as well," said Raleigh City Manager Ruffin Hall.
The city has set up a hotline for folks to report storm damage.
The number is 919-996-2999 and it is going to be activated Thursday morning at 7 a.m. If you are in real danger, call 911.