Dorian mandatory evacuation orders begin for NC coastal areas, hurricane watch issued

DARE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Hurricane Watch was issued for the entire North Carolina coast Tuesday morning as other evacuations and state of emergencies were issued. Governor Roy Cooper plans to issue a mandatory evacuation of all North Carolina barrier islands on Tuesday and says two large shelters will be organized in the Triangle to help those displaced by Hurricane Dorian.



Cooper issued a mandatory evacuation order for vulnerable coastal areas. The order goes into effect at 8 a.m. Wednesday and applies to barrier islands along the entire coast spanning from the Virginia to South Carolina line.

If local authorities call for earlier evacuations, residents and visitors should follow those directions.



"Please listen to and follow all evacuation orders," Gov. Cooper said. "We have seen the life and death effects of this storm in the Bahamas, and we urge everyone on the islands at the coast to leave."

A mandatory evacuation had been issued for all Dare County visitors beginning Tuesday at noon. A mandatory evacuation order for all Dare County residents goes into effect at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Authorities said they anticipate "significant, life-threatening impacts" from Hurricane Dorian later this week.

"Our state is facing the very real likelihood of storm damage," Gov. Roy Cooper said Monday afternoon.

In Oak Island, the town issued a Declaration of a State of Emergency effective at noon on Tuesday, including a voluntary evacuation for low-lying areas and a mandatory evacuation for visitors/tourists. Onslow County declared a State of Emergency on Tuesday. Currituck County issues a mandatory evacuation of its Outer Banks communities (Corolla and Carova) effective at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

A state of emergency has been issued for all areas of Dare County including the towns of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Manteo and all unincorporated areas including Hatteras Island, Roanoke Island and the Dare mainland.

"I urge you to listen to your local officials," Cooper said. "And if they order an evacuation, please follow their instructions."

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Danny Souer, who lives in Knightdale but was visiting family in Carolina Beach, said his family is planning to ride the storm out.

"They say every time there's a storm, every time there's a hurricane, especially being on the island they're going to lose power," Souer told ABC11. "It is what it is."

Others heeded the warning from authorities.

"Last night, we're sitting around talking about the pictures of the engagement and stuff and they said, 'Oh we have a mandatory evacuation at noon today.' So we packed up the car this morning and left," said Robert Stabbe of Chapel Hill.

Stabbe and his wife had gone to Savannah for his son's engagement.

He said his son will likely evacuate to their home in Chapel Hill.

The state of emergency includes restrictions on ocean swimming. Everyone must stay out of the water, officials said, as it is unsafe for even the most experienced swimmers.

Those evacuating to areas north of Dare County are encouraged to travel westbound on Highway 64 to Interstate 95.

Evacuating through the rural areas to the west of Dare County will help avoid traffic backups and congestion that may prolong evacuation by traveling northbound through the Hampton Roads portion of Virginia.

Hundreds of state troopers will be monitoring evacuation efforts throughout the affected areas. Cooper says he has activated National Guardsmen to assist with efforts.

Cooper also said he asked President Donald Trump for an emergency declaration to ensure federal funds for disaster relief. Sen. Thom Tillis later said he spoke to Trump on the phone and he president said he will be granting Cooper's emegency declaration and assured Tillis that North Carolina will have the federal government's full resources in response to Dorian.

On Tuesday, Cooper said his request had been granted. Trump tweeted that he would have the declaration signed Tuesday night.



"North Carolinians have faced tough storms before and we're taking every precaution to make sure we're prepared. I appreciate the support of our federal partners in making sure our state is ready to respond to whatever Hurricane Dorian brings," Cooper said.

PREPARE FOR THE STORM

While it is too early to know the impact Dorian will have, it is never to early to prepare with the essential supplies.

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