- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Residents across North Carolina should prepare themselves for flooding as several weather systems converge on North Carolina and Hurricane Joaquin lurks in the Atlantic Ocean, Gov. Pat McCrory said Wednesday.

McCrory issued a statement noting that the ground is saturated in many places from the past week’s rains, and that the combination of wind and any additional rain from Joaquin could lead to downed trees and cause power outages across the state.

The governor urged people to download the ReadyNC app to get the latest information on weather, flooding, traffic and shelters.

Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry said emergency management officials are coordinating with local officials to ensure they have what they need.

“We can expect flooding in poor-drainage spots and low-lying areas,” State Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry said. “Regardless of the impact of Hurricane Joaquin, North Carolina has the potential for life-threatening flooding within the next week. We don’t know yet how much or how widespread the flooding will be, but we know there will be flooding.”

The National Weather Service in Raleigh says a large swath of the state starting west of Raleigh and stretching to the coast could get between 7 and 10 inches of rain through Monday.

Weather service meteorologist Nick Petro stressed that the rainfall amounts will vary depending on the behavior of the weather systems. He also said the state can expect to be drenched regardless of Joaquin’s behavior.

“Folks need to really understand that there’s a risk of heavy rain and flooding regardless of Joaquin’s track,” he said.

With parts of the state already drenched, he said trees could easily topple in saturated ground even without heavy winds.

“If you have a little bit of breezy conditions with wet soil, it’s easier for these trees to fall,” he said.

Carin Faulkner, assistant town manager of North Topsail Beach in Onslow County, said officials there are just trying to keep up with the run of wet weather.

“We’re concerned about having another event because we haven’t had time to recover from last weekend,” she said.

Don Campbell, Guilford County emergency management director, said the weather service told him that a flash flood Tuesday dumped 2.75 inches in High Point over 60 minutes. Vehicles in parking decks and on surrounding streets were flooded.

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