Governor Pat McCrory issued a state of emergency for much of Eastern Carolina, in advance of Hurricane Arthur and will be making another update Friday morning.
Speaking in Wilmington, McCrory said he signed an order putting 26 coastal and inland counties under the declaration.
The governor also signed a waiver of certain transportation rules and regulations in order to quickly restore power and speed up the process of removing debris Hurricane Arthur may cause.
McCrory warned residents and visitors to stay safe during the storm. "I want to reiterate, don't put your stupid hat on."
Attorney General Roy Cooper says that means the state's price gouging law is now in effect. “We’re warning price gougers not to use this crisis as an excuse to make an unfair profit off of consumers,” said Cooper.
The counties in the declaration are: Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, Jones, Martin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Tyrrell and Washington counties.
The governor will make the update 9:30 a.m. Friday.