Updated: 10: 55 a.m.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says the state has been spared the worst of Hurricane Michael, which was downgraded to a tropical storm this morning. However, the governor says the storm is still a threat.
"For North Carolina, Michael isn’t as bad as Florence but it brings unwelcome insult to injury," Cooper said.
The North Carolina Department of Public Safety reports 10,069 power outages across the state. There are 45 school systems that are closed today, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools as well as schools in Union, Anson and Rowan counties. UNC Charlotte has canceled class for the day.
Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, in an appearance on Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins, said the city activated its Hurricane Team and is focusing on weather reports and how Michael might impact government and private business.
"So we’re working on helping people — or notifying the major businesses, the government offices that are downtown to say look at this and determine what’s best for your employees to make sure that they’re safe because the commute will be difficult," Lyles said.
The Charlotte region is under a tropical storm warning until further notice and flash flood watch until midnight, according to the National Weather Service.
The National Weather Service says the region is expected to get 3-5 inches of rain. WCNC-TV meteorologist Brad Panovich says the bad weather won’t last as long as previous storms.
“It’s going to move out almost as quickly as it moved in. So, this is not going to be a long event unlike Florence and Matthew in year’s past that lingered for days and really soaked the state. This will be a 6 to 12-hour window of really bad weather and then it's going to move out quickly,” said Panovich.
Panovich says heavy rain and winds will be at their heaviest from 11 a.m.-3 p.m and warns there’s potential for flash flooding. He says sustained winds will be around 20-30 mph, and gusts could reach 40 mph – knocking down trees and causing power outages.
Panovich says the storm should move out of the area around 5 p.m. as it heads east toward the Raleigh and Piedmont area of the state.