RALEIGH (WTVD) —
Hurricane warnings have now been issued for parts of North Carolina as Matthew – now downgraded to a Category 2 storm – continues its slow trek up the U.S. east coast.
As of 11 pm, Hurricane Matthew continues to weaken and winds are down to 105 mph.
The storm should continue to weaken during the day Saturday and Matthew will spin down to tropical storm strength by Sunday, Chief Meteorologist Chris Hohmann said Friday night.
The storm is still forecast to pass fairly close to the North Carolina coast by late Saturday and Saturday night before moving away.
The south coast of North Carolina could experience hurricane force wind gusts tomorrow, and winds could gust to 50 mph along the I-95 corridor and near 40 mph around the Triangle.
Flash flooding continues to be a major concern for Saturday, especially in the Sandhills and Coastal Plain.
“Please keep abreast of changing conditions and never try to drive through a flooded roadway,” Hohmann said.
Earlier Friday, President Obama approved Gov. Pat McCrory’s request for a federal disaster declaration for 66 counties in central and eastern North Carolina.
Here’s what we can expect in the Triangle and Sandhills:
- A flash flood watch has been issued for much of the central part of the state.
- Fayetteville and surrounding areas could see 5 to 9 inches of rain, the Triangle can expect to see 3 to 5 inches.
- Wake County and counties east and south are under a wind advisory and could see gusts 40-50 mph.
CLICK HERE FOR ALERTS
The North Carolina coast from the state line with South Carolina northeast to Surf City are under a hurricane warning, from Surf City up to Duck a tropical storm warning has been issued and a hurricane watch has been issued from Surf City to Cape Lookout.
Stay on top of the storm, download the ABC11 News App
Click here for First Alert Doppler XP
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is warning her state’s residents of the danger Matthew poses. “This is going to hurt,” she said at a press conference Friday morning. “We are trying to reduce lives lost as much as we can.”
Click here for ABC11 First Alert Doppler Hurricane Tracker
“We saw several inches of rain last week in parts of the Sandhills,” ABC11 Meteorologist Don Schwenneker said. “And even though we’ve had some dry time, rivers and creeks are still up.”
McCrory says the North Carolina National Guard and emergency equipment are being assembled, including high-water vehicles and swift-water rescue teams.
At Fort Bragg, soldiers are prepared to deploy on short notice if they are called to assist those who suffer from damage or other problems because of the hurricane.
Authorities say an elderly couple appears to have died from carbon monoxide poisoning while running a generator after Hurricane Matthew, raising the U.S. death toll from the storm to 4.
A post on the St. Lucie County Fire District’s Facebook page says rescuers responded to couple’s home Friday morning after neighbors found them not breathing. They were taken to a nearby hospital, where county spokesman Erick Gill says they later died.
Officials say the couple had been running a generator inside their garage throughout the storm.
Officials didn’t immediately naming the couple. Two women in Florida were also killed in separate accidents.
Be prepared: Emergency kit essentials for hurricane season
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has ordered an evacuation of the entire Georgia coast, covering more than a half-million people. It was the first hurricane evacuation along the Georgia coast since 1999, when the state narrowly escaped Floyd.
A state of emergency has been declared in Wilmington and Gov. McCrory extended his state of emergency to all 100 North Carolina counties as Hurricane Matthew continues to make its way towards our coast. McCrory said he spoke to President Barack Obama Thursday about the state’s storm preps.
McCrory has said North Carolina will be offering resources to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
South Carolina’s governor has declared a state of emergency and ordered the evacuation of coastal communities.
However, McCrory said that he wouldn’t be moving any resources from our state in the event the hurricane changes course and takes aim at North Carolina.
WATCH: Chris Hohmann discusses the strongest side of a hurricane
With the hurricane’s approach, thousands of flight cancellations to and from Florida have been reported across the country, including at Raleigh Durham international.
In Raleigh, Derrick Remer, Emergency Management & Special Events Manager with the City of Raleigh said crews are on standby ready to work through the weekend on 12-hour shifts, on the go 24 hours if needed. While the city is still watching and waiting, they’ve already started conversations with power crews and other emergency operations.
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper is also warning residents about scams connected to Hurricane Matthew.
RELATED: North Carolina officials warning residents about Hurricane Matthew scams
ABC11’s team of meteorologists continues to watch the storm and where its path may go.
WATCH: Chris Hohmann explains how hurricanes are categorized
Meanwhile, Duke Energy is on alert as they track the storm’s path. They say they’re preparing for a major power outage event.
The state’s largest energy provider hasn’t had to prepare for this kind of potential storm, in some time.
The Red Cross is also urging residents in Eastern North Carolina to be prepared.
“The better prepared folks are, the safer they will be should Hurricane Matthew impact our coastline,” said Barry Porter, regional chief executive officer of the Red Cross in Eastern NC. “The Red Cross encourages residents to build a kit of necessities, ready their homes, and make a plan with their families.”
The ABC11 Weather Team will keep you updated with the latest.
Report a Typo
(Copyright ©2016 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.)