The best thing North Carolina residents can do as Hurricane Dorian approaches and possibly makes landfall is to get out of its way, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., said Wednesday.
"I encourage anyone along the coast or a few miles inland to heed the warnings of your local elected leaders and emergency response officials to get out of the way of this storm," Tillis told Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "We expect water and wind, lightning, possibly tornadoes. The best thing you can do is retreat and take advantage of evacuation shelters and other facilities."
Show host Bill Hemmer noted 20 years ago, Hurricane Floyd took a northern turn and landed over North Carolina, causing extensive flooding, and Tillis agreed that kind of scenario is at the top of his mind and for others in his state.
"Wind is dangerous, but water is deadly," Tillis said. "Most of the deaths from hurricanes occur as a result of floods and the storm surge . . . we have a lot of rivers draining into the ocean in that area. When the tides come in and we have a surge at the same time it can be devastating miles inland. It's why getting out of harm's way is the best message people can receive over the next 48 hours."
He also urged residents to use their common sense, even if Dorian has downgraded to a Category 2 storm.
"I'll remind everybody in North Carolina, Florence and Matthew were Category 2 storms," Tillis said. "We have people still out of their homes from Hurricane Matthew. Take the storm seriously. If you had a tropical storm coming through your neighborhood and 40- to 50 mile-an-hour winds you would be concerned. This is twice or more that sort of ferocity and storm surge. Please, do not discount the danger of this storm."
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