Gov. Cooper Surveys Damage In The Triad From Michael
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper spent much of the day Friday assessing the impact of Tropical Storm Michael, which swept through the state Thursday, hitting the Triad particularly hard.
Cooper met with emergency management officials and first responders in Winston-Salem as part of several stops in the northwest corner of the state, and said the storm left a path of downed trees, power lines, and road closures.
He warned that flood waters could still be a big concern in the region, and urged citizens to be vigilant.
“The flood waters still are around and we have some closed roads and often after the flood is gone we see automobile deaths because people get complacent and think the storm is over. So, the safety notice is still the number one priority now.”
Minor river flooding is a possibility that could extend through the weekend, with the Yadkin expected to rise to about 27 feet overnight before falling below flood stage Saturday afternoon, which is high enough to potentially flood some homes along the river.
It was just last month that Hurricane Florence devastated parts of the state, and Cooper says that makes the recovery effort even more difficult.
“Just the sheer numbers of people who were left homeless and had their homes destroyed from Florence was overwhelming to a lot of the local governments,” says Cooper. “So, I think the challenges of temporary housing is one that is still with us and that we’re working hard with our federal partners and other resources to try to deal with.”
Cooper adds that he expects these types of storms will become more frequent in the future. “We aren’t talking about 500-year floods when you have them within 23 months of each other. So, we’ve got to build in a way that is resilient; we’ve got to take mitigation seriously, and I think we’re up to the task if we work together.”
Local first responders reported nearly 100 people were rescued Thursday from flash floods in Guilford, Forsyth, Iredell, Henderson, Burke, McDowell and other counties. Dozens of schools were also closed.
The 2-1-1 call line has been opened to help residents with storm related questions and other shelter details.