Irma could cause mountain floods and rockslides

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) –  North Carolina’s emergency officials say the forecast keeps improving as Tropical Storm Irma churns to the north and west, but they say residents will still feel the storm’s effects.

Gov. Roy Cooper said Monday the threat remains the greatest in the mountains, with localized flooding and power outages possible.

Cooper says the threat for rockslides in western North Carolina is greater this year because of mountain wildfires last fall.

There could also be minor flooding at the coast. Heavy rain and high winds should begin in the state Monday afternoon and continue until early Tuesday.

North Carolina remains in a state of emergency, with staging areas for recovery operations in Greensboro, Charlotte and Asheville.

Duke Energy says they have 4,500 workers stationed in the Carolinas to respond to power outages.

9:15 a.m.

The North Carolina National Guard is ready to respond to help deal with the effects of Tropical Storm Irma.

Gov. Roy Cooper said in a news release Sunday night that the National Guard was staging in Asheville, Charlotte and Greensboro to be ready to respond to any problems. Cooper planned to meet with reporters Monday to provide an update on storm preparations.

The governor said North Carolina soldiers are ready to remove debris and deliver and distribute emergency supplies. A high wind warning is in effect in parts of North Carolina from Shelby west toward Andrews.

The National Weather Service said heavy rain and strong winds could cause flash flooding in the mountains. Duke Energy reports about 1,400 customers without service in North Carolina. The biggest problem is Wake County.

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