NC Emergency Management teams at work on Irma preps

Shawn Sullivan Airbnb’s public policy lead for Central America and the Caribbean

The heaviest rainfall is expected early Tuesday morning.

Governor Cooper said the highest concerns were flooding and mudslides in the mountain regions of western North Carolina as well as hurricane-strength winds along the SC border.

The 8 a.m. advisory shows Hurricane Irma hit making landfall in Cuba and Hurricane Jose continuing its coarse in the Atlantic.

Initial plans called for opening staging areas across the state, but now only centers in Greensboro and Asheville are planned.

The region's universities, which have substantial numbers of students and faculty commuting along narrow mountain roads that susceptible to landslides and through valleys that could be threatened by flooding, are also keeping an eye on the system.

The official National Hurricane Center forecast track has shifted west, but a swath of Western North Carolina from Marion to Murphy remains in the potential path of Hurricane Irma.

Hurricane Irma now is a Category 5 storm, and its path remains hard to predict due to multiple climate factors.

"The lines may be a little longer and we ask everyone to be considerate with fuel consumption and take only what you need so that others may have some, too", he said. Gov. Rick Scott sounded dire warnings about the storm Saturday morning, urging residents in evacuation zones to leave their homes immediately.

"Tampa is very, very, very vulnerable to this type of storm", Fishel said.

Irma's track shifted late Friday and early Saturday. Naples, Fort Myers and Tampa are now expected to bear the brunt of the storm. But before the storm reaches the peninsula, the Florida Keys will experience its full force.

The NWS cautioned that flooding remains the largest threat to life during landfalling hurricanes in central North Carolina.

The most recent briefing on Hurricane Irma was published by the National Weather Service at 5 p.m. Thursday and describes moderate-to-high confidence in impact for the central part of the state. Irma will move along or near Florida's southwest coast Sunday afternoon. The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for all of southern Florida and the Florida Keys until midnight Eastern Time. Wyatt said the Mountain State Fair, which opens this weekend, could be affected by the storm.

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