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The National Hurricane Center will release brand new conditions and a path forecast at 5 a.m. As of Wednesday night, the storm had sustained winds of 115 miles per hour and was moving north at 7 mph.
Dorian is expected to pass dangerously close to Georgia and scrape the Carolinas on Thursday night or Friday morning–bringing the potential for more than a foot of rain in some spots as well as life-threatening storm surge.
Tornado Watches are in effect in South Carolina and in southeast North Carolina. Early bands of rain are stretching across Robeson and Bladen counties Thursday morning.
ABC11 Meteorologist Don “Big Weather” Schwenneker said he expects the Raleigh area to start getting rain as early as lunchtime Thursday, with the heaviest rain happening Thursday evening. Wind will then pickup overnight and continue through Friday, but the rain will taper off Friday.
By the end of the storm, the I-95 corridor could see between 4-8 inches of rain–with areas east seeing more and areas west seeing less.
The storm is predicted to pick up speed as it passes North Carolina. That makes it less likely Dorian would dump vast amounts of rain as happened last year during Florence, State Emergency Management Meteorologist Katie Webster said.
“This is a fairly fast moving storm and after talking with the (National) Hurricane Center we have good confidence that that storm will be moving quickly as it crosses our coast,” she said. “I think at this point we are not anticipating the large amounts of rain that we saw in Hurricane Florence.”
WATCH: Atlantic Beach braces for Hurricane Dorian
Cooper said in a news conference Wednesday that an 85-year-old Columbus County man was the first storm-related death in North Carolina. Cooper said the man fell from a ladder as he was preparing his home for the storm.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Wake County. It also includes Harnett, Franklin, Johnston and extends south to Bladen and east to Lenoir and Pitt counties. Counties east of the Tropical Storm Warning are under a Hurricane Warning.
The difference in the warnings is the speed of sustained wind the included areas are expected to see. Click here for the full list of weather advisories.
Power outages are likely from Hurricane Dorian–although the extent of the outages are not yet known. Still, utility crews from Oklahoma are on their way to Raleigh to help.
The crews said they received help last week when they were struggling with outages, so they wanted to repay the good deed.
Cooper said Tuesday there will be a mandatory evacuation of all vulnerable coastal areas and two large shelters will be organized in the Triangle to help those displaced by Hurricane Dorian.
PREPARE FOR THE STORM
What to know about generators before a power outage
Here’s what you actually need to prepare for Hurricane Dorian
North Carolina animal shelters taking in pets, livestock ahead of storm
What happens to your home in hurricane-force winds?
Foods to stock up on before a storm hits
Copyright © 2019 ABC11-WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved – The Associated Press contributed to this report.