By Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice on July 31, 2020
Noting that “a hurricane during a pandemic is double trouble,” Governor Roy Cooper announced this afternoon that he has declared a State of Emergency in North Carolina in response to the threat posed by Hurricane Isaias.
At a July 31 afternoon briefing, Cooper said that while the “track and the destination of the hurricane are in flux,” preparing for such a storm is now “more complicated” because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already generated a separate State of Emergency in North Carolina. Depending on the track of the storm, the hurricane’s harshest impacts could be felt on the Outer Banks late this weekend into Tuesday.
Under the new State of Emergency, North Carolina residents are directed to follow any evacuation orders that are given. (Such an order has already been issued for Hurricane Dorian-battered Ocracoke Island.) As far as seeking shelter if evacuation is required, the governor said evacuees should try to stay with family or friends or find a hotel if possible.
A third option, one that Cooper characterized as a “last resort,” would be for individuals to find a hurricane shelter. He noted that those entering a shelter will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, be given face coverings and be socially distanced.
In response to a reporter’s question about potentially evacuating the large number of visitors currently on the Outer Banks, Cooper replied that, “We’re gonna make sure we get visitors out of the Outer Banks if an emergency is declared.”
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