North Carolina Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry urged residents and visitors to the state to “Turn around, don’t drown,” warning them of the potential flooding, power outages and damage Tropical Storm Hermine threatens as the system approaches North Carolina Friday afternoon, according to a press release.

Perry and Governor Pat McCrory met at the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh on Friday morning to provide updates on the storm, safety tips and the government’s preparations in response to the high winds and heavy rain the storm is expected to bring.

Flash flood and flood watches are in place for central and eastern North Carolina, with localized flooding anticipated along creeks, small streams and in flood-prone and urban areas. Heaviest rainfall, 6 to 8 inches in some parts of the state, is expected along and east of US-1 Corridor from late Friday afternoon through early Saturday morning.

On Thursday, McCrory declared a state of emergency for 33 countries in eastern North Carolina to aid recovery and resource movement in response to the storm. A mandatory evacuation was also ordered for the 2,000+ visitors on Ocracoke Island. The storm is projected to hit hardest in eastern North Carolina, leaving flooding, downed trees and power outages in wake. Coastal flooding, beach erosion and minor ocean over wash are also expected.

While residents and visitors alike may be frustrated with the poor weather for Labor Day weekend, often referred to as the “unofficial end of summer”, McCrory urged safety is a number one priority.

“The safety of our residents and visitors remain our top priority going into this holiday weekend,” McCrory said. “We urge everyone to be prepared, especially for potentially dangerous flooding

“More deaths occur due to flooding than to any other severe weather hazard,” Perry added.

While it’s always good to err on the side of caution, Elon students have little to worry about. The Burlington Times-News reported that “what Alamance County will see mostly is rain – lots and lots of rain,” 

Paola Kalb ’20 isn’t too worried about the storm. As a Florida native the phrase “tropical storm” isn’t one that raises alarm. 

“In Florida we get loads of tropical storms so this one really doesn’t worry me to much,” said Kalb.

But if a larger storm were to hit, Kalb feels she would know what to do. 

“If a true hurricane were to hit it would be important for all of us to make sure we had water and canned food in case it lasts a while.”

There are also students less comfortable with the idea of a storm so close to home. Ayana Joyner ’20, said many North Carolina residents like herself pay close attention to the warnings.

“We take things like this very seriously,” said Joyner. “Unplug everything. Go to the store beforehand to get canned goods, candles, water and get back to the dorm and take shelter until you’ve been notified that it’s clear and safe to come out."