CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — As now Tropical Storm Ian continues to batter Florida, questions remain about what impact the storm will have in the Carolinas.
The problem is that once the storm cuts across the Florida Peninsula and back into the Atlantic, it’s tough to predict where it will go next. It’s why North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and South Carolina Henry McMaster have both declared States of Emergencies for their respective states.
Gov. McMaster specifically said he has not issued any evacuation orders, government building shutdowns, or mandated school closures. He said calling the State of Emergency will help agencies reduce some restrictions and allow FEMA to send aid if needed.
“I think those two things, the flood risk, and the trees down, will be the biggest issues around here,” said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Director John Wendel.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management will open throughout the weekend to assess the storm situation and respond accordingly. They currently have not opened any shelters, but they say they’re ready to pivot at any moment.
“Be prepared to go without power for 24 to 48 hours. That includes getting batteries for flashlights,” said Charlotte Fire Department Deputy Chief Jerry Winkles.
Meanwhile, local school districts and events are already bracing for impact.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has moved all varsity football games to Thursday and JV football games to Monday.
Cabarrus County Schools has canceled all weekend events starting Friday after school.
Lancaster County Schools will have a virtual learning day Friday, with football games being played Thursday.
The Taste of Charlotte has postponed its festival to Oct. 7 – 9.
The American Heart Association has postponed its Heart Walk until Oct. 16.
“We know that heart and stroke survivors love to spend time with us, and we really had to take that into consideration when asking them to come out in potentially hazardous conditions,” said American Heart Association Executive Director Erin Link.