Double trouble: Cooper declares state of emergency

A shelter sign

4:50 p.m. update

Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency Friday afternoon, paving the way for federal assistance if Hurricane Isaias has a major impact on North Carolina.

“ A hurricane during a pandemic is double trouble,” he said, “but the state has been carefully preparing for this scenario.”

Gov. Roy Cooper
Gov. Roy Cooper

In a press conference a short while ago, Cooper noted that the state emergency command center was already in operation due to the pandemic. COVID-19 will play a major role in the state’s response to the hurricane., Cooper said.

“The state Emergency Operations Center – already activated for COVID-19 – has been activated as well for Hurricane Isaias, and state and local response teams are at the ready. And today, I have declared a state of emergency to help our state prepare,” Cooper said during a news conference Friday. “With the right protection and sheltering, we can keep people safe from the storm while at the same time trying to avoid making the pandemic worse.”

Cooper said two medical shelters are being opened up, both far inland. The shelters were being prepared for the anticipated influx of COVID-19 patients, but now could be used for those who show symptoms or are ill with the virus as they flee the storm.

Conventional shelters are not open yet, Cooper said. Those decisions will be made on the local level as conditions warrant. He stressed that social distancing, masks and other COVID-19 precautions will be required, and that evacuees will have their temperatures checked as they enter shelters.

The National Weather Service will hold a briefing at 6 p.m. We will bring you any updates at as soon as possible. Email your cancellations and closings of church, civic or other activities to [email protected]. Please include a telephone number if we need more information.

About Jefferson Weaver 2040 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].