Tropical Storm warning extended along North Carolina coast

WAVY/Matt Gregory

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP/WAVY) — The National Hurricane Center has issued a tropical storm warning for a portion of the North Carolina coast.

The 5 p.m. advisory Thursday showed the tropical storm warning was issued from north of South Santee River, South Carolina, to Surf City, North Carolina. Friday, the warning was extended to mainland Dare County.

A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours. Weather Alerts

Governor Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency for the entire state Thursday afternoon.

McCrory warned residents in coastal areas Friday to stay prepared for the inclement weather. The strongest impacts in North Carolina are expected to be felt late Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Matthew, a category 3 hurricane when it struck Florida, is expected weaken to category 1 hurricane when it pass South Carolina, then to a tropical storm by the time it affects North Carolina.

WAVY Hurricane Center | Interactive Hurricane Tracker

The National Weather Service in Wilmington says flooding will be a significant threat with Matthew because some locations in southeastern North Carolina have received up to 15 inches of rain in the last 30 days, and that additional heavy rainfall will turn to flooding.

Residents in the Outer Banks have been debating whether to leave Friday or Saturday as the storm nears. The surf in Buxton Friday was choppy and strong, as some residents fished along the oceanfront.

The U.S. Coast Guard set Port Condition Yankee for all North Carolina waterways, meaning no vessels can enter within the safety zone without permissions of the Captain of the Port. The Port of Wilmington has been closed to all inbound traffic.