All of Southeastern North Carolina has been put under a tropical storm warning as Tropical Storm Hermine pushes up the East Coast.
The warnings issued by the National Weather Service at 11 a.m. extend from Surf City south through South Santee River in South Carolina.
"The wind field is expected to expand as the storm moves through with gusty winds likely to affect a large portion of northeast SC and southeast NC," the National Weather Service said in a Thursday morning bulletin.
A tropical storm warning means sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph or higher are expected to reach an area in 36 hours or less.
The weather service issued moderate impact levels for wind and flooding in the region, and high risk levels for impact on marine and coastal areas.
"Potential impacts include minor structural damage, large limbs and trees downed and scattered power outages," the bulletin said.
The weather service said winds are forecast to begin increasing Friday afternoon, "with the worst conditions occurring Friday night into early Saturday morning."
One of the bulletin's maps resembled a splotch of angry red over the region, predicting more than 6 inches of rain for all areas of Northeastern South Carolina and Southeastern North Carolina.
"This amount of rainfall will likely overwhelm drainage systems in some areas resulting in flooding," the bulletin said, as a flash flood watch was also issued.
The weather service said a "slight risk" also exist for "a few tornadoes."
The storm's forecasted track was shifted slightly to the east overnight Wednesday, the weather service said, but "residents should prepare for gusty winds, and avoid flooded areas. Any flooding that occurs at night can be especially hazardous since it is harder to recognize the dangers."
Thursday morning the Red Cross urged coastal North Carolina residents to be prepared for the storm by putting together kits that include a three-day supply of water, non-perishable foods, flashlights and first aid kits. The organization also encouraged residents to develop a disaster plan to designate where families will meet in case of emergency and to stay informed about conditions.
The Red Cross has a hurricane app with more information on how to prepare for the storm.
Reporter Tim Buckland can be reached at 910-343-2217 or Tim.Buckland@StarNewsOnline.com.