North Carolina Governor Says State Ready to Respond When Irene Passes

Governor Beverly Perdue said Saturday rescuers and damage assessment teams are standing by as Hurricane Irene moves across the state.

Perdue says the state is ready to respond once Irene moves away. The storm came ashore near Cape Lookout around 7:30 a.m. Saturday and Perdue says Irene will continue to bring hurricane-force winds in the far eastern part of the state throughout much of the day.

Hundreds of National Guard troops and Highway Patrol officers are standing by to help as needed, and Perdue says state officials are ready to do a damage assessment once the weather clears.

The governor plans to tour affected areas Sunday.

Perdue said more than 80 shelters were available and more than 7,500 people used them overnight.