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Johnston County declares state of emergency

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SMITHFIELD- Johnston County officials declared a state of emergency at 7 a.m. this morning. 

Johnston County issued the press release about the state of emergency at 3 p.m., eight hours after it was declared.

Public Information Officer Lu Hickey explained.

"We were working other releases and just failed to send the declaration out earlier this morning," said Hickey.

Johnston County Manager Rick Hester said declaring a state of emergency makes Johnston County eligible to apply for state and federal funds to reimburse the county for any Hurricane Dorian-related expenses.

But Hester also said a state of emergency declaration isn't intended to panic anyone.

"It's to put in place the possibility of state and federal reimbursements," said Hester.

Please continue to monitor radio, television and social media for further updates