More than 4,000 Duke Progress customers were without power Monday morning as Irma, now downgraded to a tropical storm, made its way northwest largely sparing the state.
Though heavy winds and rain were expected across the state Monday and flooding was already present in many coastal areas, the brunt of the storm passed south of the state.
The power outages were spread across the region with many concentrated at the southern end of the state and toward the mountains in the west.
Much of the state was under wind advisory heading into the workweek including the area of the state from Guilford County west and from Cumberland County to the south including New Hanover and Pender Counties.
The Wilmington area was under a flood warning Monday morning and high waters were felt in Jacksonville up the coast, as a result of the storm.
Gov. Cooper, on Saturday, warned that even though the state was being spared a direct hit from Irma heavy winds and rain from the storm were still a threat to be taken seriously.
“We’re continuing to take preparing for this storm seriously, and we’re tracking forecasts closely,” Cooper said. “I’m asking families and businesses across the state to do the same: make sure you’re ready for whatever Irma brings, and stay tuned to your local weather and news.”
Cooper warned of dangerous riptide currents and high surf at the coast, and heavy rains and flash flooding in low-lying areas of the state as well.
Looking toward the mountains, which will likely be closest to the storm as it passes, Cooper warned of possible landslides.
Cooper said that state officials are watching the track of the storm closely, as any change could mean very different impacts for the state and that the State Emergency Operations Center would remain activated and operations would continue as long as needed to get through the storm.
Over the weekend the North Carolina National Guard began staging crews in Charlotte, Greensboro and Asheville in preparation to support storm response activities if needed, including debris removal, shelter operations, and delivering and distributing supplies, Cooper said.
State Emergency Management officials also began shifting staff from eastern areas of the state to support the western parts of the state that would be hit harder, as well as working with hydrologists to identify possible trouble spots for flooding and landslides in mountain counties.