Governor Roy Cooper addresses impacts of Ophelia

Govenor Roy Cooper speaks on floods in North Carolina after Ophelia.
Govenor Roy Cooper speaks on floods in North Carolina after Ophelia.(Alyssa Hefner)
Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 7:16 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Tropical Storm Ophelia has now hit all of Eastern Carolina.

Ophelia made landfall at 6:15 on Saturday near Emerald Isle with maximum sustained winds of 70mph.

With winds weakening throughout the day, periods of heavy rain, gusty winds, and coastal flooding will likely continue throughout periods of ENC, according to state officials.

The storm has resulted in flooding across Eastern Carolina, with the storm making its way up north.

State officials said there were reports of downed trees, impacting some roads and downing some power lines. Current reports show around 30,000 scattered power outages throughout the state. However, that is down from the more than 50,000 outages this morning.

“We encourage everyone living and visiting the areas impacted by Ophelia to remain vigilant,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Water levels could remain elevated through this evening for areas adjacent to the Pamlico, Neuse, Pungo and Bay rivers and farther north along the northern Albemarle Sound and soundside Outer Banks. We are grateful to all of the first responders and others who are responding to this storm.”

“In an abundance of caution, swift water rescue teams were staged in areas around eastern North Carolina in case rescues were needed. This included Morehead City, Bayboro, and Williamston. One of the teams was also able to assist in the evacuation of the Twin Lakes Campground, located between the Pamlico River and the Chocowinity Bay,” said Will Ray, North Carolina Emergency Management director. “We are committed to providing the resources needed to support our county partners, and we will continue to work with them as we move forward into the recovery phase of this storm.”

Many counties in ENC continue to monitor Ophelia, with several communities with states of emergency in place and active emergency operations centers.

On Friday, Governor Roy Cooper signed a State of Emergency, which temporarily waives transportation of livestock and agricultural products. The order also issues transportation waivers to expedite preparations in anticipation of the storm and provide swift response and recovery after the storm.