The path of Hurricane Dorian has shifted west, with forecasters projecting a possible landfall on the North Carolina coast.
The storm currently remains off the coast of Florida as a Category 2, days after hitting the Bahamas as a Category 4 hurricane.
Counties along the North and South Carolina coasts are under a hurricane watch until further notice, according to the National Weather Service.
A tropical storm watch has been issued as far west as Scotland County and Robeson County, which is still recovering from Hurricanes Matthew (2016) and Florence (2018) is under a tropical storm warning, as is Marlboro County, South Carolina.
South Carolina’s coastal counties were placed under a mandatory evacuation order and many counties in North Carolina have issued voluntary evacuation orders.
Showers and thunderstorms are expected to start moving into Richmond County late Wednesday into the overnight hours with tropical storm conditions possible throughout Thursday. Forecasters predict 1-2 inches of rain in the county through Sunday.
The greatest potential for strong winds and heavy rains will be east of U.S. 1 and Interstate 95.
According to a graphic included in the latest NWS briefing, Richmond County could see gusts of 39-57 mph, which could blow over trees and lead to power outages.
Richmond County Schools issued a statement on Facebook Tuesday afternoon saying officials are monitoring the storm and are scheduled to meet with Emergency Services early Wednesday.
Richmond Community College has yet to issue a statement.
UNC Pembroke announced Tuesday that classes would be cancelled for the rest of the week starting Wednesday. Other universities in the eastern part of the state, including Fayetteville State and East Carolina, have also cancelled classes.
St. Andrews University has not yet cancelled classes but has postponed its home-opening football game, which was scheduled for Saturday.