Virus hurts North Carolina counties’ hurricane readiness

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Hurricane Florence flooding (Photo: WCTI)

NORTH CAROLINA (AP) — As hurricane season starts Monday, most of North Carolina’s coastal counties are grappling with shortfalls or concerns about equipment and resources as they balance the dual threat of tropical weather and the COVID-19 pandemic.

All 20 counties in the state’s coastal management zone told The Associated Press that COVID-19 is factoring into hurricane preparations.

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Five said overall plans hadn’t changed, but they’re ready to adjust to the virus if needed.

Fifteen counties acknowledged shortfalls or concerns about supplies, with protective gear being the most common worry during a national shortage.

However, three others — Dare, New Hanover and Pender — say they have sufficient resources for hurricane season.