North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has issued a mandatory evacuation order for the state’s barrier islands.
The window for buttoning up plans and evacuating is shrinking.
The Governor's Executive Order applies to all North Carolina barrier islands from the South Carolina border to Currituck.
Mike Sprayberry, North Carolina Director of Emergency Management, says riding out the storm on a barrier island is not a good decision.
"The Governor as well as most of the jurisdictions there – they’re giving an order for folks to move off those islands.
"I think that’s for safety’s sake and they need to heed what the local officials are telling them and they need to heed what the Executive Order says by the governor because we can see by the forecast track of the storm – there’s going to be hurricane force winds blowing over the barrier islands. It’s not a good idea to remain in place."
Shelters are opening Wednesday in Brunswick, Pender, and New Hanover Counties. State officials say they’ll open mega-shelters further inland if the need arises.
The storm is expected to affect eastern North Carolina later this week, but much of the state will see Dorian’s effects in the form of rain and possible flooding.
Officials also warn residents to be prepared to lose power for an extended period of time.