Hurricane Irma update with NC Gov. Roy Cooper

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says people from the mountains to the coast need to be vigilant preparing for Hurricane Irma even as projections have a weakened storm entering the state well inland early next week.

Cooper said at a media briefing Thursday that the system could still affect from people across the state – a key reason why he issued an emergency declaration statewide. The State Emergency Response Team is readying for the storm with rescue teams and staging areas in Kinston, Greensboro and Asheville. Emergency management director Mike Sprayberry says more than 300 National Guard soldiers are being brought in to help and more are available.

Nick Petro with the National Weather Service in Raleigh says heavy rain and inland wind damage could result in extended power outages, with possible mudslides in the mountains. He says dangerous surf and rip currents should be anticipated at the coast.