(WBTV) - Several cities and counties in the WBTV-viewing are have declared a State of Emergency due to Hurricane Florence.
The hurricane is expected to bring heavy rainfall and winds in the Carolinas over the weekend and into next week.
In response, North and South Carolina declared a State of Emergency.
Hurricane Warnings are in effect for the entire NC coast and portions of the SC coastline. Millions of people were evacuated inland, and many schools and businesses are closing ahead of the storm.
Mecklenburg County, Iredell County, Gaston County, Cabarrus County, Caldwell County, the City of Monroe, the City of Kannapolis and the City of Harrisburg have declared a State of Emergency ahead of the powerful hurricane.
In Mecklenburg County, the Chairperson of the Board of Commissioners and Mayor Vi Lyles issued a joint proclamation of a State of Emergency as they say it is necessary to maintain public order, protect lives and property during this emergency.
In Iredell County, the declaration was given following a big meeting held in Statesville involving emergency managers and representatives from hospitals, schools, power companies and many more.
In Gaston County, the Board of Commissioners said the State of Emergency goes into effect immediately.
In Monroe, the mayor said there is an imminent threat of, or existing conditions have caused or will cause, widespread or severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property, and public safety authorities will be unable to maintain public order or afford adequate protection for lives or property.
On Thursday, Flash Flood Watches were issued until 8 a.m. Tuesday for the following NC and SC counties in the WBTV viewing area: Alexander County, Avery County, Burke County, Cabarrus County, Caldwell County, Catawba County, Chester County, Chesterfield County, Cleveland County, Gaston County, Iredell County, Lancaster County, Lincoln County, McDowell County, Mecklenburg County, Rowan County, Union County, York County.