One year ago, Hurricane Matthew left communities in North Carolina struggling to recover and some residents still living in temporary shelters. The state has seen some of its worst flooding in decades and some neighborhoods have not been rebuilt yet. In rural areas, residents are confronting the reality that they might not ever return to their homes.
While this time around, Irma appears to be on a more westerly track than last, the threat is real and North Carolinians should continue to prepare. Regardless of the final path of Irma, this storm will cause widespread impacts across the state with high winds, dangerous surf and rip currents along the coast, heavy rain, flash flooding and mudslides in the mountains. There is also the possibility of tornadoes.
If Irma stays on its projected path, its impact in North Carolina would be felt Monday night and Tuesday with the potential of severe weather, including high wind gusts producing sporadic power outages and possibly tornadoes. Duke is continuing to monitor the progress of the storm and will update this page as needed.
The National Weather Service expects the storm to make its initial landfall in south Florida early Sunday morning before traveling up through Georgia and arriving in South Carolina on Tuesday. The path is hundreds of miles wide so WNC is far from a direct hit, but it could get wet from the outer bands of the storm. It is a good idea to have battery-powered radios so people can listen for warnings. NWS meteorologists issue watches when there is a potential for a tornado and warnings when a twister is spotted.