North Carolina leaders describe emergency plans for Idalia; schools close ahead of storm

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Thursday, August 31, 2023
Parents react as storm prompts school closures
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With Idalia pushing into North Carolina, many school systems decided to cancel Thursday classes.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- With Idalia pushing into North Carolina, many school systems decided to cancel Thursday classes.

Some of the largest districts, including Wake, Durham, Johnston, Nash, and Moore counties will all be closed.

Others, including Cumberland, Harnett, and Lee county school districts, are moving to remote learning for Thursday.

Some Wake County parents expressed frustration online about the decision to cancel classes. WCPSS didn't make the announcement until a little after 8 p.m.

Check School Closings and Delays here

Earlier, state leaders at the Emergency Operations Center spoke Wednesday about plans in place ahead of the storm.

"We're hoping for the best and preparing for the worst," Gov. Roy Cooper said.

He warned that it was important for people to stay off the roads. He also said everyone should listen to and heed emergency alerts in their area.

Emergency crews, including the National Guard, are staged across the state and ready to respond as needed. Swift water rescue teams are also on high alert in areas where the most rain is expected.

WATCH: Gov. Cooper's full remarks ahead of storm

Cooper said the state was also working with utility companies in the state to make sure they can respond to any outages as quickly as possible.

TRACKING IDALIA: Latest forecast for North Carolina

"Take care of yourselves, and your community--especially those friends and neighbors who need assistance," Director of Emergency Management William Ray said.

Ray confirmed emergency crews would respond to areas in North Carolina first and then work to assist any other states that may need more resources.


Water rescue crews prepare for possible flooding from Idalia.

SEE ALSO | North Carolina beaches prepare for Idalia as it moves up East Coast

Cooper has already declared a state of emergency.

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The North Carolina Department of Transportation said Tuesday it had 2,300 employees across the state ready to respond. NCDOT started checking well-known trouble spots Tuesday in preparation for heavy rainfall, clearing drains and basins.

Duke Energy said with a lot of rain and wind there could be downed trees and downed power lines.


Rain began picking up in Cumberland County throughout Wednesday evening and emergency management officials said they had opened shelters and launched a shuttle and other services as part of preparations for storm response.

Cumberland, Hoke, and Sampson counties were under a Tropical Storm Warning until further notice. They were also under a Flood Watch overnight.

Fayetteville braces for effects from Tropical Storm Idalia

Town leaders in Spring Lake watch areas prone to flooding and ask drivers to be careful if they need to be out overnight.

"A lot of that depends on the timing of, of rain that comes with it, how much rain you get, how much when you get in combination because that ground gets softer, that can help to topple trees as the wind comes through," Jeff Brooks said who is a spokesperson for Duke Energy.

Join ABC11 starting at 4 a.m. Thursday as we track Idalia's impact across the Triangle areas


Steady rain began falling about 8:30 p.m. and gradually got heavier in Goldsboro and other parts of Wayne County on Wednesday night.

Goldsboro town officials said they have been preparing for a possible hit from Idalia since Monday.


Rain and wind picked up strength throughout the day and into the evening as Tropical Storm Idalia neared.

Earlier Wednesday, surfers and swimmers enjoyed the energetic surf kicked up by Idalia's outer bands. But as the sea grew rougher, beachgoers left the water.

SEE ALSO | North Carolina beaches prepare for Idalia as it moves up East Coast