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Limited impacts expected in Outer Banks, as North Carolina declares State of Emergency ahead of Hurricane Ian

The storm battered Florida when it made landfall as a Category 4 storm.

NAGS HEAD, N.C. — Wednesday's sunny skies may not have shown it, but there are other ways for Brook Sparks to tell a storm is coming. 

“We're about 40 percent booked and last weekend we’re about 75 percent booked, so I think the numbers don’t lie," she says.

Sparks, a vacation realtor on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, says last minute bookings have slowed and are expected to pause altogether with the incoming storm conditions brought by Hurricane Ian, which officially made landfall along the Florida coast Wednesday afternoon. 

“We usually see those bookings last minute anyway, and by last minute we’re talking about a week. They’re often shorter than a week, and if the weather looks like its going to be bad, they’ll hold off and wait," she says. 

Hurricane Ian's projected path doesn't directly include the northeastern region of the state. Still, heavy rain and high winds are expected, as the state is now in a declared State of Emergency.

RELATED: Virginia Governor Youngkin declares State of Emergency ahead of Hurricane Ian

Rip currents threaten North Carolina's coastline this weekend into early next weekend. 

“Anytime you’ve got large waves. Pushing up onto the beach. It comes up and rushes back out. The more water moving around, the increased chance of someone getting in trouble," Chad Motz says, captain of Ocean Rescue for the Town of Nags Head. 

He says the lifeguard watch towers were supposed to be up until Friday of this week, but they'll be taken down Thursday afternoon because of the impending conditions, which is why beachgoers should be extra cautious. 

State emergency management said the state emergency operations center will activate in Raleigh.

RELATED: Hurricane Ian makes landfall in southwest Florida

This means that all partners who work in response, and disaster relief will come together.

That includes public safety, health and human services, emergency management.

North Carolina Emergency Management said they don’t expect the weather this weekend to cause major damage but are prepared for anything.

"Everybody needs to be paying attention to this make sure they have a way to receive watch and warning information from the national weather center and local government make sure that you are paying attention to social media channels for your government 15," North Carolina Emergency Management officials said. 

WFMY's Amber Lake contributed to this report.

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