Cooper hopes Michael impacts won’t slow Florence recovery

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — With the recovery from Hurricane Florence just getting going in eastern North Carolina, the state is now waiting for another tropical strike in the form of Michael.

The hurricane slammed into Florida’s Gulf Coast this afternoon as a high-end Category 4 storm. By late afternoon Michael was still a Category 3 hurricane as the eye moved into southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia.

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On WWAY NEWS at 5 p.m., Gov. Roy Cooper spoke with Randy Aldridge live by phone from Raleigh about North Carolina’s preparations for this second storm in less than a month. Check out the video player above to see our full interview with the governor.

Forecasters expect Michael to quickly weaken and accelerate, but they say Michael should still be a tropical storm when it gets to North Carolina Thursday. At this point the heaviest rain from the storm is expected to fall in the central part of the state.

With a different part of the state expected to bear the brunt of Michael’s impact, Randy asked Gov. Cooper how that might affect relief and recovery efforts still going on in our area after Florence.

“I hope that it doesn’t slow us down at all,” Cooper said. “I hope that this storm moves through and that we continue with the work of recovery. I know we still have people in shelters; still working to provide temporary housing for people in southeastern North Carolina. FEMA informed me this afternoon that about $8.4 million has already gone to New Hanover County residents to help to pay for temporary housing, hotel rooms and rent with more housing specialist people working with people to find temporary housing for them.”

Cooper said the budget plan he unveiled today will help “build back a stronger and smarter North Carolina.” The General Assembly meets to discuss a Florence recovery plan next week in Raleigh.