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Expect Irma To Bring 40 MPH Wind Gusts To Charlotte Area

Updated 5:35 p.m.

While Hurricane Irma’s expected effect on the Charlotte area has weakened, the region will still likely receive winds of 25-35 mph. Tropical storm-force wind gusts of 40 mph are also likely, says WCNC-TV meteorologist Brad Panovich.

He says to expect 2-4 inches of rain, beginning Monday afternoon, with the peak coming late Monday night through early Tuesday morning. He recommends to prepare for Hurricane Irma as if it's an ice storms that poses threats to power lines.

"Think about things you might need to do if you run out of  power for a day or two, or you lose cervices like cell service or internet. Those are the primary concerns we have in the Charlotte area."

Meanwhile, an emergency shelter opened Saturday evening in Huntersville, at the old JM Alexander Middle School, to accommodate out-of-state residents fleeing the storm.  The cities of Charlotte and Huntersville are working with the American Red Cross and other agencies to run the shelter.

Watch N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper's hurricane update:

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper urged residents throughout the region to remain cautious, noting that any shift in the storm can have a big impact on the state.

"While we expect the greatest impacts in the mountains and along the South Carolina border, all regions of North Carolina and will see wind and some rain."

State emergency officials are also preparing for evacuees from the South.

Beginning Sunday morning, Cooper says "our National Guard partners will begin staging crews in Greensboro, Charlotte, and Asheville."

He said they will be involved in debris removal, shelter operations, and distributing supplies.

Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon says additional motor assistance crews will be stationed along Interstates 77, 26, and 95 to help with "mobility challenges" that comes from residents fleeing Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

As Hurricane Irma moves north with possible effects on the Carolinas, WFAE has compiled this information to help you prepare. For the most up-to-date information for your specific location install these apps  from FEMA and ReadyNC on your mobile phones.

Here's a live dashboard of hurricane-related information coming from first responders, government agencies, local news outlets, elected officials and more in real-time about the hurricane and its impact.   

FEMA emergency supplies checklist

Preparing your pets for emergencies

North Carolina 

Use the following resources from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety to check road conditions in your area, your flood risk and more: 

Road Conditions

Ferry Schedules

Find Your Flood Risk

Disaster Assistance

County Emergency Management Agencies

Additional N.C. Resources

State Emergency Management

Twitter: @NCEmergency

Pet-friendly shelters in North Carolina

Price gouging complaint form or call 877-5-NO-SCAM

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management  

Twitter: @CharMeckEM

National Resources

National Hurricane Center

Twitter: @NWSNHC

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Twitter: @FEMA

Red Cross shelter map

South Carolina Resources

State Emergency Management Division

Twitter: @SCEMD

Pet-friendly shelters in South Carolina

SC Hurricane Guide

South Carolina Department of Transportation


Nick de la Canal is the host of Weekend Edition on Saturday/Sunday mornings, and a reporter covering breaking news, arts and culture, and general assignment stories. His work frequently appears on air and online. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal
Greg has been with WFAE since 2008 as news director, and was named executive editor in 2023. He came to WFAE from West Virginia Public Broadcasting. In his eight years there, Greg had roles as a reporter, editor and producer. He was the executive producer of a television newsmagazine and news director for radio and television when he decided to head south for Charlotte.