WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — More places across Eastern North Carolina are preparing ahead of Idalia’s arrival.

Officials say preparation is the key when it comes to knowing what to do in the event of severe weather. Emergency services officials and even some boaters are monitoring the forecast to make sure they stay up to date on the storm’s path.

One boater out in Washington was making sure he was prepared for whatever Idalia may bring.

“We replace our lines with heavier lines or what they call storm lines,” said Rob Dare. “Making sure we have good lines that’s in there. We plug every hole like the exhaust fan so you don’t get water blown in there. and we tarp the electronics or remove all the electronics so you don’t get rain on it.”

Beaufort County Emergency Services officials say they are closely monitoring parts of the county prone to flooding.

“The Pungo, Pamlico Beach, in those locations and then from there the southern edge of our water line, Aurora, Blounts Creek are also subjected or vulnerable for these types of conditions,” said BCES Director Chris Newkirk.

Officials said they are making sure all departments are in constant communication with each other.

“Communicating with our municipalities, making sure they have everything they need to continue their operations, continuing to share the weather information with our first responders, making sure they’re aware of these time frames, the onset of conditions and the conditions that are expected of us,” Newkirk said.

— Adrianna Hargrove

Dealing with Franklin first, Idalia next

EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Emergency response providers along the coast are preparing for the weather Idalia could bring and the conditions Franklin is creating now.

On the tail end of summer, Emerald Isle officials say they’re still seeing visitors to their beaches. Officials urge people to stay out of the water over the next few days if they are poor swimmers.

Strong wind and water create big swells attracting more surfers to the beach. But big waves can bring big danger in the form of rip currents.

“That water wave has to get back to the ocean. We’re trying to educate on that aspect as far as increased rip currents, you’re going to see more of them because we have more water volume hitting our shoreline,” said Emerald Isle Fire Chief William Matthias.

Officials remind people to have that safety kit ready monitor the weather conditions and make sure you have a safe place to shelter.

— Sarah Gray Barr

Duke Energy keeping eye on storm

It’s clear Idalia needs to be taken seriously. As of now, Duke Energy is shifting 5,000 responders from Ohio and Kentucky to Florida, ready to combat power outages from the severe weather.

Here in the Carolinas, Duke Energy officials say they have 1,200 lineworkers and are prepared to call in aid from other states if needed. They want to remind customers they must prioritize when it comes to fixing power outages.

“We’ll start with kind of our bigger transmission lines and those are the lines that if you were to drive down the highway and see the big power lines, those come from our power plants and they feed the largest amount of customers,” said Duke Energy’s Logan Kureczka. “We’ll also make sure our critical infrastructure has power, so that’s hospitals, some of our nursing homes, 911 centers, and things like that.”

Kureczka added that heavy rains and winds are the main cause of power outages and they are expecting a significant number of outages in the Carolinas.

— Erin Jenkins