Gov. McCrory Declares State Of Emergency For Entire State; Plus, NCAA Announces New Event Locations
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has declared a state of emergency for all 100 counties in North Carolina ahead of Hurricane Matthew's expected impact. At a Friday storm briefing, McCrory said the state's coastal areas are bracing for the worst.
"The greatest impact in North Carolina will be Saturday through Sunday morning." McCrory told reporters gathered in the briefing room, "That's heavy rains, strong winds, storm surges, and very strong coastal impact."
As of Friday afternoon, forecasters were predicting 8 to 12 inches of rain to fall in southeastern parts of the state, though McCrory said he heard forecasts call for as much as 15 inches.
"And I tell ya, that's a lot of water," McCrory said, "and it's very dangerous water. I can't emphasize that more to citizens, especially in low-lying areas."
The Charlotte region is expected to avoid the worst of the hurricane's wind and rain, but will still see wind gusts of up to 30 miles per hour, and heavy rain Friday night through the day Saturday. The National Weather Service predicts 1 to 3 inches of rain will fall on the Charlotte area over the course of the storm.
It's enough to spur event organizers to reschedule, or some cases cancel events planned for this weekend. The Charlotte Moter Speedway is rescheduling Friday night's on-track activity, the Drive For The Cure 300, to Sunday, cutingthe inclement weather. The speedway says its Saturday night race, the Bank Of America 500, will go on as scheduled.
Carowinds says it will close its gates Friday night, and anyone with a ticket for Scarowinds will have to come back Saturday or Sunday.
Following HB2 Cancelations, NCAA Announces New Event Locations
The NCAA has announced its men's basketball regional tournament will be relocated to Greenville, South Carolina. The announcement comes after the NCAA said last month it would relocate the tournament and several other championship events in response to North Carolina's House Bill 2.
The athletic association says its board made the decision because of "cumulative actions taken by the state concerning civil rights protections."
Friday's announcement also says six other championship events will be moved to a number of different cities, including:
• 2016 Division I Women’s Soccer Championship, College Cup, Dec. 2 and 4: San Jose, California (Avaya Stadium; West Coast Conference, host).
• 2016 Division III Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships, Dec. 2 and 3: Salem, Virginia (Kerr Stadium; Old Dominion Athletic Conference, host).
• 2017 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, first/second-rounds, March 17 and 19: Greenville, South Carolina (Bon Secours Wellness Arena; Southern Conference and Furman University, hosts).
• 2017 Division I Women’s Golf Championships, regional, May 8-10: Athens, Georgia (University of Georgia Golf Course; University of Georgia, host).
• 2017 Division III Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships, May 22-27: Chattanooga, Tennessee (Champions Tennis Club; University of the South, host).
• 2017 Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship, May 26 and 28: Boston (Gillette Stadium; University of Massachusetts, Amherst, host).
• 2017 Division II Baseball Championship, May 27-June 3, Grand Prairie, Texas (The Ballpark in Grand Prairie; Angelo State University, host).
The NCAA says prospective host cities were required to complete a questionnaire outlining how they planned to protect participants and spectators from discrimination.