WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Gov. Bev Perdue has issued a State of Emergency for eastern North Carolina as Hurricane Sandy heads north toward the coast.
The declaration goes into effect Saturday for 33 eastern North Carolina counties. A tropical storm warning is in effect along the entire North Carolina coast.
"This is a large storm with a lot of energy, and its effects are likely to be felt along our coast and throughout eastern counties," Perdue said. "People should not be fooled by the category 1 status. Folks need to take this storm seriously and be ready."
The governor’s proclamation authorizes officials to respond more effectively to the emergency by authorizing additional state government resources to assist county and municipal governments. Under the proclamation, the governor has expanded powers to address all aspects of the emergency, including the authority to use state resources needed to respond to the situation. Perdue activated the State Emergency Operations Center beginning Saturday morning to prepare for and respond to the storm.
The governor also encouraged her fellow North Carolinians to be prepared for Hurricane Sandy possibly hitting the state late Saturday or early Sunday.
"Our state's veteran emergency management team is ready for Sandy, but coastal North Carolinians need to be just as prepared. Please make sure you have extra food, water and supplies on hand in case you lose water or electrical power during and after the storm," Perdue said.
"This is not your typical hurricane that moves through the state in 12 to 24 hours," cautioned Doug Hoell, state emergency management director. "Folks in eastern North Carolina will likely feel the effects of Hurricane Sandy beginning tonight and continuing through Tuesday."