North Carolina declares state of emergency as Dorian nears

Gov. Roy Cooper (D) on Sunday declared a state of emergency in North Carolina ahead of Hurricane Dorian, which has strengthened to a Category 5 storm.

In a statement, Cooper urged residents to exercise caution and prepare themselves for potential impacts of the storm.

“North Carolina has endured flooding from two strong hurricanes in less than three years,” he said.

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“Now is the time to prepare for Dorian. To the people of North Carolina, particularly those still recovering in the eastern part of our state, we are working hard to prepare and we are with you.”

Declaring a state of emergency mobilizes state resources to address the storm while also allowing state and local governments to seek federal aid.

North Carolina was hit hard by Hurricane Florence last year, resulting in heavy flooding and damages.

This year's storm has been picking up strength since narrowly missing Puerto Rico and Florida and battering the Bahamas.

The National Hurricane Center warned Sunday evening that strong winds are expected to affect the Carolinas and Georgia early this week.